Project objectives

In the 1990’s Jim Pearse and Deniza Mazevska led a group developing method for peer grouping hospitals for funding, benchmarking and other purposes (J Bridges, D Mazevska, J Pearse, I Smoker (2000) Designing a Nationally Acceptable System of Hospital Peer Grouping Australian Health Review 23(1):193-201). In 2009, 2011 and 2013, HPA was engaged to review the peer groups and to address specific issues that had emerged at the time.

The 2013 review was concerned with reviewing the peer groups for comparative reporting. Until then the peer groups were used by the Department for pricing for activity based funding (known as episode funding in NSW).

NSW Ministry of Health

Our approach

The review involved an analysis of the development and applications of the hospital peer groups. We also reviewed the national approach to peer grouping and those of other jurisdictions, conducted stakeholder consultations, and reviewed the literature for further methods. Admitted patient, non-admitted patient, emergency and intensive care data were analysed to identify further indicators for peer grouping. Principles and options for revising the peer groups were developed and an approach proposed. Data were then analysed to specify the grouping logic, resulting in recommendations about the overall logic as well as assigning individual hospitals to peer groups. Recommendations were made for the peer grouping and for subsequent changes.


The Ministry adopted the new recommended peer groups for comparative reporting.

The NSW method was used by the AIHW to inform peer grouping of hospitals nationally.

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