ased Medicare rebates

A GP management plan is a formal plan that helps coordinate care for patients with chronic illnesses. Developed under the Medicare Benefits Scheme, care plans are aimed at improving patient outcomes and encouraging patients to take responsibility for their care. While they’re a useful tool if used correctly, the benefits are not always understood among patients, GPs and allied health practitioners.

Why are GP management plans so important?

With the number of patients with chronic health issues rising, GP management plans can help alleviate some of the pressure on GPs and allied health providers when it comes to caring for these patients. By recording all the relevant patient information in a single central place, practitioners can better plan and coordinate ongoing patient care.

While they can seem a bit time consuming at first, there are a number of benefits associated with GP management plans, for patients and practitioners.

1.   Better coordination between providers

Many people who live with chronic illnesses need care from a combination of different providers including their GP, specialists and allied health practitioners. Care plans are beneficial as they set out the patient’s needs, appointments, treatments and make sure all practitioners have a full understanding of the patient’s condition. Care plans are reviewed every three months so the information is always up to date.

2.   More insight for patients

The better a patient understands their condition, the more likely it is that they will take responsibility for their own care. A GP care management plan can give patients much-needed information about their condition which helps them feel more in control over their treatment. GP care plans also involve setting goals with patients, which can help them map out their next steps and plan for the future.

3.   Improved patient outcomes

One key benefit of GP management plans is the fact they provide focused treatment rather than a scattered approach. With ongoing, tailored support, patients are likely to see better outcomes, which can have the long term impact of reducing hospital admissions and the need for further and more serious interventions.

4.   Reduced strain on practitioners

Chronic illnesses put a great deal of pressure on GPs and allied health practitioners. By treating them as efficiently as possible, and taking a long-term approach to these illnesses, care plans can help reduce the number of unnecessary GP and hospital visits and reduce the overall pressure on the system.

1.   Increased Medicare rebates

If they meet the required criteria, GPs can claim for preparing a care plan once every 12 months, and for a review every three months. It’s important they make sure they’re claiming correctly or they could risk a penalty.

GP management plans can seem time consuming to set up, but they can pay off over the long term in the form of improved patient outcomes, better coordination of care and a potential reduction in unnecessary appointments and hospitalisations. With chronic conditions on the rise in Australia, there’s never been a better time than now to start using care plans.

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