Fourth national mental health plan: measurement strategy

NMHP PI 13 Percentage of population receiving mental health care

Page last updated: May 2011

  • Strategic issue - Service Access, Coordination and Continuity of Care.
  • Rationale - The issue of unmet need has become prominent since the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing indicated that a majority of adults and younger persons affected by a mental disorder do not receive treatment.Access issues figure prominently in concerns expressed by consumers and carers about the mental health care they receive. More recently, these concerns are being echoed in the wider community.
  • Endorsement status - Endorsed by AHMAC Mental Health Standing Committee, February 2011.
  • Date last updated - January 2011.
Indicator details
National Mental Health Performance Framework
Data collection details

Indicator details

  • Description - Proportion of population receiving clinical mental health services.
  • Numerator - Number of people receiving clinical mental health services.
  • Denominator - Estimated resident population.
  • Computation - (Numerator Denominator) x 100.Calculated separately for public, private and MBS-funded services.
  • Calculation conditions
    • Coverage/Scope - Rates directly age-standardised.Inclusive of all mental-health related MBS items and includes some ambulatory-equivalent admitted patient mental health service contacts.Consultant psychiatrist services include MBS items 134, 136,138, 140, 142, 289,291, 293, 296, 297, 299, 300, 302, 304,306, 308, 310, 312, 314, 316, 318, 319, 320, 322, 324, 326, 328, 330, 332, 334, 336, 338, 342, 344, 346, 348, 350, 352, 353, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 361, 364, 366, 367, 369, 370, 855, 857, 858, 861, 864, 866, 14224.GP and other services include MBS items 170, 171, 172, 2574, 2575, 2577, 2578, 2704, 2705, 2707, 2708, 2710, 2712, 2713, 2721, 2723, 2725, 2727. Also includes Item 2702, with effect from 1 January 2010.Clinical psychologist services include MBS items 80000, 80005, 80010, 80015, 80020.Other allied health services include MBS items 10956, 10968, 80100, 80105, 80110, 80115, 80120, 80125, 80130, 80135, 80140, 80145, 80150, 80155, 80160, 80165, 80170, 81325, 81355, 82000, 82015.
    • Methodology - Requires a non-duplicated person count separately for public, private and MBS-funded services.
  • Definitions - 'Receiving mental health care':
    • State and territory mental health services: receiving one or more community contacts provided by mental health services. All service contacts are counted in defining whether a person receives a service, including those delivered 'on behalf' of the consumer.
    • Private psychiatric care: receiving specialist psychiatric care within the private hospital service stream, including both overnight and same day admitted patient care.
    • MBS: receiving one or more of the services provided under any of the Medicare-funded services streams specified in the Calculation conditions above.
  • Presentation - Percentage.
  • Disaggregation - State/Territory, age, and service stream.
  • Notes
    • State and territory disaggregation of Medicare data is based on patient residence, whereas state and territory disaggregation of community mental health care data and Private Mental Health Alliance data is based on location of service.
    • There is likely to be considerable overlap between the Medicare data and the private hospital data, as most patients accessing private hospital services would access MBS items in association with the private hospital service.
    • There is also likely to be some double counting of consumers receiving public and MBS funded services.
  • Is specification interim or long-term? - Interim.
  • Reported in:
    • National Healthcare Agreement performance reports.
    • COAG National Action Plan Progress Report (Indicator 5 Percentage of people with a mental illness receiving mental health care). Top of page

National Mental Health Performance Framework

  • Tier - Tier III - Health System Performance.
  • Primary domain - Accessible.
  • Type of measure - Outcome.
  • Level at which indicator can be useful for benchmarking - State/Territory.

Data collection details

  • Data source(s)
    • Numerator - State and Territory community mental health care data; Private Mental Health Alliance (PMHA) Centralised Data Management System (CDMS); and Medicare (MBS) data.
    • Denominator - ABS Estimated Resident Population; and ABS Indigenous Experimental Estimates and Projections (Indigenous population).
  • Data source(s) type
    • Numerator - Administrative by-product data.
    • Denominator - Census.
  • Frequency of data source(s) collection
    • Numerator - Annually.
    • Denominator - Annually.
  • Data development
    • Short-term - Inclusion of DVA counts in MBS-funded services.
    • Medium-term - Resolve definitional issues regarding what constitutes 'receiving mental health care' to enable national consistency in reporting.
    • Long-term - Develop capacity in the national datasets to uniquely count individuals.