Rise in GP mental health care plans

The number of GP mental health care plans claimed by doctors appears to be increasing despite the controversial rebate cuts to Better Access.

Medicare figures for January show 56,064 GP care plan items were claimed, compared with 40,670 in January 2010 and 50,108 in January last year.

The AMA has previously warned the rebate cuts -- which for some doctors means that drawing up a mental health care plan generates a patient rebate equivalent to a level C consultation -- would result in a slump in the number of mental health services being