Key messages

  • Victoria’s state-wide provider (St Vincent’s Health) and eight satellite services are funded using a block grant for lithotripsy services
  • From 2016-17 the WIES weight for DRG L42Z for all length of stay types is zero for all health services except St Vincent's Health and the satellite services.

Summary of funding policy

St Vincent’s Health has been Victoria’s sole state-wide public provider of lithotripsy since 2004.  St Vincent’s provides the service as an admitted (usually same-day) service at the Fitzroy campus and seven other satellite sites.  The satellite services are Ballarat Health Service, Bendigo Health, Barwon Health, Goulburn Valley Health, Royal Children’s Hospital, Mildura Base Hospital, Western Health and Mercy Health.

Lithotripsy separations are recorded by the health service where the procedure took place.  Separations are recorded as L42Z ESW Lithotripsy.  Health services other than St Vincent's Health and the eight satellite services will receive a zero cost weight for all length of stay types.

Lithotripsy service arrangements will continue to be monitored during 2016-17. 

Justification for the funding policy approach

The funding policy for lithotripsy is based on:

  • State-wide provider
  • Setting the DRG weight to zero for all length of stay admission types

State-wide provider

St Vincent’s Health was awarded the tender for provision of state-wide lithotripsy services in 1997 with two other providers.  St Vincent’s was awarded a new contract as the sole statewide provider in 2004 when the existing contracts expired.

A state-wide provider is considered the best model due to the low number of patients requiring a lithotripsy service (between 800 and 1,000 annually), the highly specialised workforce required and the high purchase cost of the equipment.

Satellite services, with contractual arrangements with St Vincent’s Health have been established to provide a service that is closer to the patient’s usual place of residence.

Setting the DRG weight to zero

The funding provided to St Vincent’s is calculated based on the estimated annual separations, the DRG weight and the WIES price.  To maintain the state-wide provider responsibilities of St Vincent’s, the department has set the DRG weight for other providers to zero – thereby offering no incentive to undertake the service.

Further information

Assistant Director, Service and Funding Projects
Phone: 61 3 9096 8372