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Video doctor appointments to be reimbursed in France

Would you visit your doctor via video? From September, “telemedicine” - or remote consultations via video in specially-equipped cabins - will be reimbursed in France at the same rate as a normal appointment.

Reimbursements will be the same as a face-to-face appointment, which is €25 for a general practitioner, and €30 for a specialist.

Doctors will also be able to offer expertise over the video call, and consult with other doctors for a second opinion, costing €12 or €20 each, depending on how complex the question and issue.

There will also be additional pricing levels for patients requiring “complex” and “very complex” consultations, costing €46 and €60 respectively.

Consultations will likely be done in special “telemedicine” cabins - set to be installed in participating clinics ahead of the September change - which allow the patient to sit down and be seen by the doctor via a camera and screen.

The cabins will also include certain healthcare tools such as blood pressure and heart rate monitors, as well as a host of other measures.

It is not yet clear how many of these will be built, or if they will be necessary in every case, but the agreement appears to pave the way for more accessible and varied kinds of consultations in future.

The idea is that patients will be able to see a doctor even if they are not physically in the same clinic, and access specialist knowledge without having to travel further.

The decision to offer the option comes after reimbursement group l’Assurance Maladie came to an agreement with three medical unions - SML, MG France, and the CSMF.

The agreement was signed today at its HQ: La Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie.

The provision will also release up to €525 per doctor, to allow them to install necessary materials and computer software, mainly to ensure the security and privacy of patient medical data online.

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