Development of the Mental Health Population Based Resource Allocation Model

Project Type - Funding, Mental health


In 2013 the Department for Health and Ageing SA (the Department) commissioned an independent review of the Stepped System of Mental Health Care and Capacity to Respond to Emergency Demand which recommended (Recommendation 11) that SA Health “should run a population and needs resource reallocation model to rebalance resources between LHNs based upon their population coverage and service need”. 

In response to this recommendation, the Department subsequently appointed HOI to develop a Mental Health Population Based Resource Allocation Model (MH-PBRAM) based on the mental health population needs of the Local Health Networks (LHNs).

The project methodology designed by HOI comprised the following key activities:

  1. An Environmental Analysis informed by a literature scan which identified the contemporary evidence base with respect to the design and implementation of MH-PBRAMs implemented in Australia and overseas and presented a proposed construct of the model and the needs adjustment indices that could be used for resource allocation to LHNs on a population needs basis, as well as a preliminary analysis of mental health indices.
  2. The formulation of the MH-PBRAM which involved statistical modelling and the development of population need indices; assessing options to facilitate the equitable allocation of resources for the delivery of state-wide services; and presentation of a discussion paper on the assessment of the financial impact on LHNs.
  3. Preparation of a Final Report that presented the MH-PBRAM model and underlying analysis and recommended implementation strategies.

HOI developed a conceptual model and dynamic modelling tool which included:

  • Population analysis that mapped SLA-based populations to the geographic catchments of LHNs.
  • Eight needs-based indices. All indices were developed and standardised to a population-weighted mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15 at the SLA level.  LHN specific indices were then constructed from SLA population weighted averages of the SLA indicator scores. The eight indices included in the model were: Age-Sex Index; Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CALD) Needs Index; Geographic Index; Indigenous Index; Socio-Economic Status (SES) Index; Private Substitutability Index (MBS); Private Substitutability Index (Hospital); and Mental Health Outcomes Index.

Based on the modelling HOI presented a financial impact assessment on resource allocations to LHNs based on the MH-PBRAM, including the estimate of cross LHN patient flows. As well as delivering a model for future use by the Department, HOI prepared a User Manual And Implementation Plan.