Doctors rort $4 million from Medicare

DOCTORS who have been caught out rorting the Medicare system were forced to pay back more than $4 million of taxpayer cash.

A report released on Monday found investigations into those rorting the system jumped 40% last financial year - 70% of which led to "further actions" including paying back the funds.

Some doctors have also been put on notice via limits to their orders on Medicare-subsidised medicines, mainly for chronic disease patients.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said the "instances of non-compliance are very small", but that "ambiguities" in the system meant some doctors were able to game the system.

As the government reviews the 5700-odd items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule, Ms Ley said the report found misuse of the schedule was "too easy".

She said some doctors did not complete the proper follow-ups with chronic disease patients on management plans and others did not record detailed medical histories.

While the Australian Medical Association has backed the review, it has warned against limiting subsidies too much, fearing some patients could miss out on vital treatments.

Ms Ley said clearer, stronger rules were needed.