This definition includes all babies who are nine days old or less. However, all newborn days of stay are further divided into categories of qualified and unqualified for Australian Healthcare Agreements and health insurance benefit purposes. A newborn day is acute (qualified) when a newborn meets at least one of the following criteria:
- is the second or subsequent live born infant of a multiple birth, whose mother is currently an admitted patient;
- is admitted to an intensive care facility in a hospital, being a facility approved by the Commonwealth Health Minister for the purpose of the provision of special care;
- remains in hospital without its mother;
- is admitted to the hospital without its mother.
Acute (qualified) newborn days are eligible for health insurance benefit purposes and should be counted under the Australian Healthcare Agreements. Days when the newborn does not meet these criteria are classified as unqualified (if they are nine days old or less) and should be recorded as such. Unqualified newborn days should not be counted under the Australian Healthcare Agreements and are not eligible for health insurance benefit purposes.
In general, a patient can be admitted if one or more of the following apply:
- The patient's condition requires clinical management and/or facilities are not available in their usual residential environment.
- The patient requires observation in order to be assessed or diagnosed.
- The patient requires at least daily assessment of their medication needs.
- The patient requires a procedure(s) that cannot be performed in a stand-alone facility, such as a doctor's room, without specialised support facilities and/or expertise being available (e.g. cardiac catheterisation).
- There is a legal requirement for admission (e.g. under child protection legislation).
- The patient is aged nine days or less.