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Medicare spending continues to slide

Written November 7, 2022, 6:51 p.m

Already very steep due to the coronavirus, the healthcare spending bill for 2022 is about to increase. After promising last week to help pediatric services overwhelmed by an epidemic of bronchiolitis, the government intends to correct the social security accounts to adjust the envelope dedicated to health insurance (Ondam).

“Work is underway to fix Ondam 2022 after the latest announcements of support for the hospital for the winter,” said the Minister of Health, François Braun, in the Senate on Monday, as he opened debates in public session on the bill on social security funding (PLFSS). This correction, in the hundreds of millions of euros, was expected in the Senate in the evening.

The budget proposal at this stage sets the level of health insurance expenditure in 2022 at €246 billion (an increase of 2.2% compared to the previous year). Thus, it is already acting on a budget expansion compared to what was set in 2021. Enough to take into account the slide in Covid-19 screening costs and compensation for work stoppages.

Index point compensation

The 246 billion euros already planned should also allow hospitals to offset the increase in the index point for civil servants and cushion the inflationary shock to their finances. This level of spending must also take into account measures taken this summer to support emergency situations, up to 200 million euros, PLFSS specifies.

Since then, the government has put new millions of euros on the table to allay the concerns of doctors and other relatives. After promising 150 million euros in October, the government returned to the charge last week. He finally put 400 million euros on the table to respond to the difficulties with pediatrics and other services in tension at the hospital.

This envelope should make it possible to extend until March next year the support provided this summer to help hospitals get through the summer period. Among these measures, which are the result of a “flash mission” on emergencies, include the increase in the remuneration of on-call and on-call duty for doctors, as well as the increase in night hours for non-medical staff. The board has also decided to expand the recipients of an intensive care bonus.

Expectant hospitals

These government announcements still leave hospitals waiting for their funding. “We hope that the 400 million euros is additional funding,” explains Cécile Chevance from the French Hospital Federation. “We expect full support for the summer measures, whose costs are estimated at 550 million euros. »

According to our information, on Monday the government was considering a budget extension for 2022 to take into account – in addition to recent promises – the doubling of overtime pay for doctors and non-medical staff. A measure implemented with the Covid crisis and reactivated this summer by former health minister Brigitte Bourguignon. The executive also planned to correct its copy to account for additional costs to hospitals of caring for patients associated with Covid.

On the other hand, the Executive Board will not plan at this stage to again correct the health insurance expenditure target for 2023. This must increase by 3.7% excluding Covid-related measures to reach €244 billion.

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