Health technology assessment in France.

TitleHealth technology assessment in France.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsFleurette F, Banta D
JournalInternational journal of technology assessment in health care
Date Published2000 Spring
KeywordsDelivery of health Care; Demography; France; Health Status; Hospital Administration; Humans; National Health Programs; Social Security; Technology Assessment, Biomedical
AbstractThe French healthcare system combines freedom of medical practice with nationwide social security. It is compulsory for every legal resident. A range of public and private institutions provide care, and patients have free access to physicians. The health coverage system is characterized by solidarity and universal responsibility. Although the French system is highly regulated, funding of health-related expenses is a chronic social problem. Since the 1996 healthcare reform, the national objective for reimbursed healthcare expenditures is voted by the parliament, and the annual increase of hospital funding is controlled at the regional level. An agency for hospitals has been established in every region, and it quantifies needs indexes for future equipment and beds. However, establishing appropriate reference ratios based on objective assessment is difficult. The idea of basing policy and practice decisions on objective assessment grew for years, until the National Agency for the Development of Medical Evaluation was established in 1989. The 1996 healthcare reform expanded this agency to encompass hospital accreditation and renamed it the National Agency for Accreditation and Evaluation in Health. In March 1999, the National Agency for Health Products was established. It controls the safety of medical products and evaluates products' medical benefits before reimbursement decisions. Health technology assessment is now related to virtually every health policy process in France, and its role increases continually.
Alternate JournalInt J Technol Assess Health Care