Liberal doctors unions and health insurance start negotiations on Thursday. The goal ? Define the price of telemedicine consultations.
Consult his doctor or a specialist through a webcam, and see his consultation refunded: this should soon be widespread in France. The government wants to develop telemedicine, which must help fight against medical deserts. The unions of liberal doctors and the National Health Insurance Fund (CNAM) meet on Thursday to negotiate. It's about defining the scope of this new kind of medicine and determining the rates.
Two types of online consultation will be discussed from today: teleconsultations, which are remote medical consultations, and tele-expertises, in this case it is a specialist who gives his opinion after being asked by a generalist. Discussions are not about telemonitoring, which involves placing monitoring devices in patients.
Long-term conditions, first reimbursed
On the side of the CNAM, the goal is to start by reimbursing patients with long-term illness. Some are not mobile or live in medical deserts, teleconsultation could improve the quality of their care. Because for the CNAM, the goal is to avoid an explosion of consultations, and therefore costs.
Liberal doctors unions are asking for equipment financing fees to be taken into account. The CNAM considers that this type of consultation should be remunerated as a traditional consultation. For the Liberal doctors' unions, the price must vary according to whether it is a simple medical opinion or a medical report.
The negotiations are expected to last until the end of March.