The Ministry of Health expects to save $10 million each year from data matching primary health organisations (PHO) data with Immigration NZ to ensure only eligible patients are receiving Government health subsidies.
Two data matching checks have been completed since February 2012 and a further one is planned for later this year.
Each check involves matching data of 30,000 individuals.
As a result of matching data of 60,000 individuals to date, 850 individuals being identified as being ineligible for government health subsidies. PHOs are now in the process of ensuring that these people do not receive public health subsidies.
Each individual identified in the data matching trials has the opportunity to contest the findings.
Once the data matching process has been assessed, data matching checks are planned to be run four times a year.
This will mean primary health organisations will have more accurate registers to ensure only eligible patients receive Government health subsidies.
More information about patient eligibility can be found in the Eligibility for publicly funded health services section.
Of those ineligible:
- around two thirds are New Zealanders who have left to live overseas for an extended period.
- the majority were ineligible for between 1 and 2 years.
Legislation allowing data matching came into effect in late December 2010. There has been considerable effort made to ensure the process works as intended and any disruption to health services is minimalised. The matching process is complex which is one reason why each data matching check is limited to 30,000 names at a time.
Once the PHO data matching is operating smoothly the Ministry will look at other areas where data matching is feasible and will be of benefit.