France confirms changes in imaging reimbursement

French Minister of Health Dr. Agnès Buzyn has confirmed that article 99, which gives the health insurers union the right to make unilateral decisions on reducing imaging tariffs, will be removed from French law by 1 January 2021 at the latest.

Buzyn sent the confirmation by post to the national union of independent radiologists (Fédération Nationale des Médecins Radiologues, FNMR) on Friday, 8 June.

As well as the removal of article 99, the letter also confirmed the reapplication of code Z, a supplementary tariff removed in 2017 from the reimbursement of specific technical acts. The code Z tariff, which will be reinstated on 1 January 2020, facilitates maintenance of -- and reinvestment in -- state-of-the-art equipment to ensure optimal imaging services for patients, according to a statement from FNMR released on Monday.

Buzyn's official confirmation arrived in the wake of the signing of a three-year agreement on 26 April between health insurers and French radiologists ensuring the pertinence of imaging acts predominantly for back pain. This agreement has made the removal of article 99 and the re-establishing of code Z a reality, the union stated, adding it believes this agreement could pave the way for future collaborations between health insurers and other medical specialties in the private sector.

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