French Health System Overview
Health System Rankings
Health System Outcomes
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Costs for Consumers
Health System Expenditures
French COVID-19 Policy
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Health Information and Communications Technologies
“eHealth, and in particular the use of electronic medical records (EMRs) and telemedicine, has grown rapidly in recent years, after a few ‘false starts’. EMRs were initially launched in 2004 to facilitate collaboration between various health professionals and patients but became operational in a few settings only in 2011 and more widely available in all settings in 2018. By mid-2019, over 6.4 million people (about 10 % of the population) had an EMR.
“Telemedicine was legally defined in 2009, but the numerous pilot projects launched over the last decade were limited in scope. However, in 2018, the SHI defined the price and insurance coverage of teleconsultation and tele-expertise. The price for a teleconsultation is the same price as a face-to-face consultation, hence being covered like a traditional consultation. These teleconsultation activities have grown quickly, with about 50 companies currently in the market, but concerns have emerged rapidly about ensuring that the teleconsultations remain activities performed by the regular local health professionals rather than by national platforms without any links to local health professionals and their network.”
Source: OECD/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (2019), France: Country Health Profile 2019, State of Health in the EU, OECD Publishing, Paris/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Brussels.
“The number of teleconsultations peaked at almost 1 million per week in April 2020, compared to around 10,000 per week before March 2020 (Figure 15). The number fell after the easing of the first lockdown in May/June 2020, but rose again from the end of October to mid-December 2020 during the second. New regulations were introduced to scale up telemedicine during the first wave of the pandemic: the conditions of entitlement and reimbursement were simplified to maintain continuity of care, and the cost was fully covered by the SHI. Physicians were allowed to use this mode of consultation without having to know the patient already. Teleconsultations were also made available to nurses for follow-up of COVID-19-infected patients confined at home.”
Source: OECD (2021), Health at a Glance 2021: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/ae3016b9-en.
“To support care coordination, a national electronic medical record (DMP), has been created by law in 2004. Because of technical difficulties and delays during implementation, the project was entrusted to a dedicated technical agency in 2009. But 3 years later, only 160,000 DMPs had been opened contrary to the several million expected. Physicians criticized the technical and administrative burden, but the main factors highlighted were resistance to sharing information with patients and with other professionals. Failing to cross the critical threshold of users that gives value to the system, the project failed. After this first attempt, the project was entrusted by law to the national health insurance fund in 2016. The new policy was addressed to patients, professionals and software companies. The policy has allowed patients to independently access and modify their DMP data already in possession of the national public medical insurance, and has introduced financial incentives for physicians opening a DMP. As a result the deployment of DMPs has accelerated substantially: 350,000 new DMPs were opened in nine pilot departments within a year. If scaled-up to the entire country, this number would correspond to 4 million DMPs.”
Source: Burnel, Philippe. “The introduction of electronic medical records in France: More progress during the second attempt.” Health policy (Amsterdam, Netherlands) vol. 122,9 (2018): 937-940. doi:10.1016/j.healthpol.2018.07.022.
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Page last updated Jan. 25, 2023 by Doug McVay, Editor.