Better Access cuts fallout: bulk billing of care plans plummets

Despite Medicare data showing the overall number of Better Access-related MBS claims has risen since the cuts last November, an AMA survey of 404 GPs found the proportion who bulk billed for mental health plans dropped from 78.1% before the cuts to 38.6% after.

For doctors charging a gap, the AMA figures suggested the cost went up with 40% of GPs charging a co-payment of $31 or more since the changes took effect, compared to just 30% before.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton, who in a Press Club speech last week accused the government of cutting its support of GPs to pay for other health reforms,