Evaluation of the Flexible Funding Pool

The FFP programme was established in 2013 as a new approach to primary health care funding allocation, and reducing inequities among high needs populations. The funding pool is allocated to practices in three streams: performance bonus payments, quality payments (for quality improvement and accreditation) and flexible fund payments, which allow practices to allocate funds as required, to meet the needs of their target population.

NHC engaged Julian King & Associates Limited to undertake an evaluation of the FFP programme. Evaluation findings indicated that the FFP initiative has improved over time and continues to be an effective and valued programme, reducing barriers to access for our providers' priority groups.

Evaluation data indicated the FFP programme enhances quality clinical care, with improvements in clinical guideline adherence (including more consistent adherence), patient engagement and enhanced nurse roles.

The FFP programme reduces access barriers and uptake of care for whānau, by enabling practices to offer services at a reduced cost, or free of charge. Utilisation of eligible patients (Māori, Pacific, and/or NZDep quintile 4-5) is increasing, with the number of FFP claims averaging around 10,260 per quarter.

Provider satisfaction with the FFP was found to be high, with feedback noting improvements in funding flexibility and equity (by extending the ‘high needs’ definition to include quintile 4 patients in addition to quintile 5). Providers were particularly satisfied with NHC staff and support, and the FFP programme’s suite of services and processes.

The full report may be found here.