Debate rages over management plans

Dr Webber, writing in the MJA, highlighted GPMPs and TCAs as the source of millions of wasted Medicare dollars as GPs around Australia cashed in on a “bonanza” by claiming for “clinically unnecessary GPMPs”.

“The policy intention was to allow patients with chronic or terminal disease to receive previously unaffordable care, but has created perverse incentives for all parties involved,” Dr Webber wrote.

“This is bleeding several hundred million dollars per year as the policy intention is buried by inappropriate claims.”

But Australian National University researcher Associate Professor Kirsty Douglas, who was part of a team that investigated the use of GPMPs last year for the Serious and Continuing Illness Policy and Practice Study (SCIPPS) funded by the NHMRC, said GPs were using the items well.