Changes to teleconsultations – will there be fewer of them?

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Ten post jest także dostępny w języku: polski

The new NFZ regulation, published yesterday, sets out the funding changes that await providers who offer teleconsultations as part of primary care. Everything indicates that there will be fewer telemedicine services provided by family doctors.

Clinics with 90% share of teleconsultations

Adam Niedzielski at a press conference recently reported that there are clinics in our country where the share of teleconsultations in the first four months of 2021 was above 90%. The Minister of Health specified that there could be as many as 200 facilities. Some of them have signed contracts with the NFZ for a fixed period, some for an indefinite period. Niedzielski pointed out that the fund will not prolong the agreement with around 70 entities. What is more, in almost half of the outpatient clinics in our country teleconsultations constituted around 50% of all services provided there.

It is worth noting that, in addition to standard teleconsultations in primary care, since the end of May 2021 the First Contact Teleplatform has been operating in Poland, which allows one to obtain medical advice outside family doctors’ working hours. One can obtain there an e-prescription, e-referral or e-release. This is the first stage of the reform of night and holiday medical assistance.

Bonus for lower proportion of teleconsultations

Regulation of the President of the National Health Fund of 24.06.2021 amending the regulation on the conditions for the conclusion and performance of agreements on the provision of health care services in the field of primary health care introduces changes in the rules of financing of services. It specifies that the number of medical consultations given in direct contact with the patient (without the use of ICT systems or communication systems) to persons due to some diseases cannot be less than one per 3 consecutive reporting periods.

Furthermore, if the share of teleconsultations in all medical consultations in a given provider, in the month following the month of publication of the median, is higher than one and a half times the median, the capitation rate is adjusted using the coefficient 0.9. If it is lower than half of the median, the capitation rate is adjusted using the coefficient 1.05. The new regulations enter into force on 1 September 2021.

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