France: Delay in the generalization of the reimbursement of remote medical monitoring

In brief

The long-awaited generalization of the reimbursement of remote medical monitoring for five pathologies, which was supposed to come into effect on 1 July 2022, has been postponed, as indicated by the Social Security Directorate and the General Directorate for Health Care Provision.

The absence of position from the French authorities following this decision negatively affects the companies and start-ups involved in the conception and development of remote medical monitoring devices, but also the patients treated for these pathologies and their healthcare professionals.


Contents

In more detail

Remote medical monitoring is an act of telemedicine allowing healthcare professionals to remotely interpret data necessary for the medical monitoring of a patient and, where appropriate, to adapt their care.

As per the Social Security Financing Law for 2022, the generalization of the reimbursement of remote medical monitoring for five pathologies (diabetes, chronic heart failure, chronic renal failure, chronic respiratory failure and therapeutic implantable cardiac prosthesis) was supposed to come into effect on 1 July 2022.

This long-awaited evolution is the result of experiments carried out over the years (ETAPES experimental program) and aims to avoid a large number of acute episodes of these chronic pathologies and reduce hospitalizations for these patients.

However, for the moment, the date of entry into force of the generalization of the reimbursement of remote medical monitoring was postponed.

Several actors of the medical devices' industry raised concerns in this regard, in particular the French National Association for Medical Technology and Industries (SNITEM), which notably flagged the consequences of such delay for the 150 000 patients, that are currently remotely monitored, and asked the French authorities to get into position quickly. In addition, SNITEM pointed out the lack of responsiveness from the French authorities on the comments shared by the stakeholders about the legal texts being drafted and the lack of transitional provisions that would ensure a smooth transition from the ETAPES experimental programme to the new upcoming legal framework. An example of a concrete issue raised by the stakeholders is the fact that, under the ETAPES experimental programme, remote medical monitoring activities were fully invoiced by the companies to the health insurance scheme. Under the draft upcoming texts, the reimbursement rate by the health insurance scheme is only 60%, which means that the companies will need to engage discussions with complementary health organizations. This adjustment will require time, which must definitely be taken into account by the authorities. 

Despite the lack of clarity in this regard, the implementation of the legal texts generalizing the reimbursement of remote medical monitoring is expected by the medical devices' industry by the end of the year. They also expect for a reasonable transition period and an adjusted schedule, which will be pivotal to the successful implementation of the new system.


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