The General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), attached to the Ministry of the Economy, devoted part of its review for the year 2020 to telemedicine. It verified compliance with legislation on patient information and competition law.
The results are mixed: out of the 130 checks carried out with 69 operators, mainly platform headquarters and pharmacies offering a teleconsultation service, 23% presented “anomalies”, according to the DGCCRF. This finding gave rise to 12 warnings and 5 compliance orders. However, “the educational and corrective suites” were privileged because this sector is young, indicates the ministerial service.
The DGCCRF notes lack of information on tariffs and fees, generally linked to a lack of knowledge of the regulations. Deceptive commercial practices have also been observed, such as the “confusing” presentation of a “tele-advice” service not covered by Health Insurance. In addition, the Repression of Fraud mentions practices between operators which would be liable to contravene competition law. They are currently being analyzed.
Relaxation of conditions
Controls by the government authority were motivated in part by the explosion of this practice during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, caused in part by the relaxation of access arrangements. Indeed, on March 8, 2020, the Minister of Health and Solidarity Olivier Véran announced the lifting of “the obligation to go through his attending physician and that of having a real consultation the twelve months before carrying out a consultation. remotely “. A decree specifying these new conditions had been issued.
But these relaxations divide practitioners. Some fear that they will cause a distension of the bonds between the doctors and their patients resulting in a “uberization” of health. The director general of the National Health Insurance Fund (Cnam) explained in April 2020 precisely wanting “prevent telemedicine from being picked up by a small number of doctors who would make it their specialty“.