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The disturbing weight of "chronic diseases" in health expenditure

A few days before an expected report on his savings tracks, the director of Health Insurance, Thomas Fatôme, pointed out Monday “the weight of chronic diseases” in his expenses, whose data by pathologies will be accessible from Tuesday via an open data site.

The trend is confirmed year after year: “we see a concentration of health expenditure around chronic diseases”, noted Mr. Fatôme during a presentation to the press of the new site “Data pathologies” retracing reimbursements for 57 categories of diseases, by region or department, from 2015 to 2020.

The most recent figures indeed show a total of 168 billion spent for the care of more than 66 million patients, including 104 billion for chronic pathologies, or 62%. A share up by one point compared to 2019, mainly due to the drop in “one-off” hospitalizations during the confinements due to the first waves of Covid-19. But the analysis over several years highlights “extremely heavy factors which push upwards”, underlined Mr. Fatôme.

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Increase in cases of diabetes and cardiovascular disease

In five years, the number of patients has thus increased by 440,000 for diabetes and 540,000 for cardiovascular pathologies. At the same time, the cost of treatment has jumped by 18% for “cancers in the active phase” and up to 50% for lung cancer, with the arrival of new treatments such as immunotherapy.

“Good news for the care of patients”, recognized the boss of Health Insurance, ensuring that she was “not there to say that it costs too much, but to make people understand”.

A way also to prepare the ground before its annual report “Expenses and products”, which aims to offer the government ways to control health expenditure, upstream of the Social Security budget presented in the fall.

Without deflowering his proposals expected at the end of June or the beginning of July, he affirmed that “the debate on health policy is all the more relevant when it is based on substantiated data”, adding that “our responsibility is to provoke this debate “.


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