Tests are digging a hole in Medicare

Social Security spending continues to rise with an increase of more than 120% in the first half of the year.

With the health crisis continuing, Medicare is expected to end the year with another record loss of € 31 billion, after € 30.4 billion in 2020, according to forecasts set in June by the Commission on Health. Social Security accounts.

The latest figures from Medicare, released at the end of July, show that the bill continues to rise, with a 13.3% year-over-year increase in general plan spending. This is particularly the case for reimbursements for medical tests, which increased by 120.2% over the first seven months of the year (+ 116% over twelve months), driven by Covid testing activity. L’Assurance-maladie had planned a budget of 5 billion in 2021 to fund the screening and will no doubt be.

To curb this outbreak, Thomas Fatôme, the son-in-law, dropped PCR and antigen testing rates from medical biology labs and liberal health professionals last June by 15% to 30%. Now, a PCR test costs 49 euros for Medicare, and an antigen test 25 euros when performed in a pharmacy (which covers 85% of cases).

For patients, the tests remain 100% supported by the Secu, with no upfront fees, but the executive has announced the end of free over-the-counter tests in mid-October. The tests have already become payable since July 7 for foreign tourists present on French soil.

Catching up on care

City care, on the other hand, rose by 15.6% in the first seven months of the year, mainly due to a 20.1% increase in reimbursements for medical and dental care. In detail, from January to the end of July, general care reimbursements jumped by 6% compared to 2020, specialized care reimbursements by 20.3% and dental care reimbursements by 38.3%. This progression reflected a partial catch-up of the acts that had been postponed by patients during periods of confinement.

Reimbursements of medical care between January and July 2021 increased by 21.8% compared to the same period of the previous year. Within this position, physiotherapy care is evolving by 36.9%. As for nursing reimbursements, they have risen 13.5% since January, due to PCR and antigen testing as well as specific tariff revaluations. Finally, transport refunds increased by an additional 23.2%.

On the other hand, daily allowances decreased by 11.9% in the first seven months of the year compared to the same period in 2020. But this decrease is only apparent. Work stoppages had jumped in 2020 due to the introduction of derogatory allowances (mainly “childcare” and “vulnerable people”), which had led to a very high peak as early as March 2020.

Institutional payments increased by 11.6% year-on-year for public hospitals, 20.9% for private clinics and 17% for medical and social institutions, including Ehpads.


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