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How do I adjust for a coding change in the last 12 months?

Let’s illustrate the point with the example of a coding change that happened on 1 April 2012 and which affects whether or not patients are counted in the service.

If you were running Gooroo Planner in late February 2013, you might normally choose a past period of 1 Feb 2012 to 31 Jan 2013 (as a recent 12 month period), but (given the coding change) you might prefer to use 1 Apr 2012 to 31 Jan 2013 instead (which is only 10 months, and is on a like-for-like basis with the future period). A 10 month period is still recent and representative, so that’s fine. If your future period is, say, next financial year, then that is a 12 month future period and the seasonality profile will be used to adjust for seasonality when projecting past demand forward into future demand. So that potential source of error is avoided.

The other potential source of error lies in preparing the 12-months-worth of seasonal profiling data. Continuing with our example, if the seasonal profiling data is drawn from calendar year 2012 then it will contain an artificial discontinuity at 1 April 2012. So you need to make a reasonable assumption to get around this. A good option might be to take the seasonality data from 12 months before the coding change took effect (e.g. 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012), which should normally be fine (assuming the pattern of seasonality is similar whether our code is consistently included or consistently excluded).