French approve accelerated health card plan:
This article was originally published in Clinica
The French national health insurance agency, CNAM, has approved a plan for the rapid distribution of electronic "Vitale" health insurance cards, which are to replace paper forms. Some 12 million cards are to be distributed next year, and a second wave in 1998, with the total eventually reaching 47 million. The cards, which will help CNAM monitor treatment and prescribing costs more closely, are part of the government's approach to cost-containment. Doctors will have to install computer equipment to process the cards themselves.