Department of Health

The emergency care stream covers emergency departments and emergency services.

Emergency department care is provided to patients registered for care in an emergency department in selected public hospitals. Emergency departments are medical treatment facilities that specialise in acute care of patients who present without prior appointment, either by their own means or by ambulance.

Urgent Care Centres (UCCs) that provide emergency services are also in scope for Activity Based Funding (ABF).


Eligible facilities in-scope for ABF in the emergency care stream are all health services that currently report to the Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (VEMD) and UCCs providing emergency care available 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

Compensable patients are out of scope.


Emergency department presentations will be classified according to the Australian Emergency Care ClassificationExternal Link (AECC) system, which provides a summary of the complexity and type of patients treated within an emergency department.

Urgent Care Centre patient activity are classified using the Urgency Disposition GroupExternal Link (UDG) classification system.

Price weights expressed as national weighted activity unit are set out in the annual National Efficient Price DeterminationExternal Link .


All emergency department data is collected at the patient level and is reported through the VEMD.

Urgent Care Centre data is collected at an aggregate level through the Agency Information Management System (AIMS), and through manual submission of the UCC form.

The unit of count for ABF emergency care is ‘emergency department stay’ or presentation. It includes stays for patients who are treated and go home, and patients who are subsequently admitted to hospital or transferred to another facility for further care.


Cost data for ABF acute admitted care is collected at the patient level. All Victorian health services are required to submit annual patient-level cost data to the Victorian Cost Data Collection (VCDC). VCDC data is then submitted to the National Health Cost Data Collection (NHCDC)External Link via the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority (IHACPA).

Key differences between pre-2021-22 Victorian funding model and National model adopted from 2021-22

Victorian funding model = Weighted Inlier Equivalent Separation (WIES), Non Admitted Emergency Services Grant and/or Group C Accident and Emergency grants.

National model = Activity Based Funding (ABF) emergency price weights for both admitted and non-admitted activity.

  • Classification: Australian Emergency Care Classification from 1 July 2021.
  • Counting unit: Presentation.

Patient must be physically present to attract the National Weighted Activity Unit.

  • The national emergency funding model does not currently recognise telehealth or virtual non-admitted emergency activity, where the patient is not physically present with a medical health professional in an approved health service.
  • This requirement could change if reported that type of activity is shown to intend to substitute directly for an emergency department attendance. This is a 'category B' requirement as outlined in the IHACPA's 'General list of in-scope public hospital services eligibility policy'.

Reviewed 01 May 2023


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