Calculation of NWAU

An NWAU is a measure of health service activity expressed as a common unit, against which the national efficient price (NEP) is paid. It provides a way of comparing and valuing each public hospital service (whether it is an admission, emergency department presentation or outpatient episode), by weighting it for its clinical complexity.

The average hospital service is worth one NWAU – the most intensive and expensive activities are worth multiple NWAUs, the simplest and least expensive are worth fractions of an NWAU.

The NWAU will be updated annually, and will be named to reflect the year of its operation. This means that in 2012-13, the NWAU against which the national efficient price (NEP) is paid is called NWAU(12). In 2013-14, the NWAU is called NWAU(13), and so on.

IHPA's National Pricing Model Technical Specifications (external link, opens in a new window) [] each financial year explains how the IHPA developed the activity-based funding models for the service streams to be funded. It also shows how the NWAU were developed, and provides guidance to hospitals, local health networks and state and territory health authorities on how to apply these to hospital activity.