By Anaelle Mountain
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Of the liberal caregivers would have touched thousands of euros overpayment during the Covid-19 crisis for their participation in vaccination campaigns.
” I received more than 6,500 euros the CPAM (primary health insurance fund, editor’s note) in a year, and none of it is due to me,” reveals to news.fr Éric*, liberal nurse from Occitania.
He denounces a administrative vacuum on which the CPAM would have turned a blind eye. A void that would participate in the debt of Health Insurance.
Éric does not want to keep this money but he indicates that he is facing inaction administration. The flaw: the registration of patients in the vaccination centers against Covid-19.
In August 2021, Éric sees the sum of 3,000 euros appear on his account, paid by the CPAM. “I called them, and they told me it was related to the registration deeds in the centres,” says the nurse.
For a year, Éric lent his health professional card (CPS) to volunteers, who took care of registering patients on the computer.
The CPS card is required for any such registration, and is only held by carers working in liberal. “Volunteers register patients under our name using our card,” Eric explains.
The act of registering a patient is paid automatically, at the rate of 5.40 euros. Liberal nurses are generally fee-for-service. However, in the vaccination center, they were employees. The two methods of remuneration should not have been combined.
In my center, there could be between 250 vaccinations per day at the lowest and up to 1,000 at the peak of the epidemic. But many nurses and doctors who performed them do not have a CPS card because they are not self-employed.
After a year of service in this center, no less than €6,500 that Eric saw appear on his account.
The National Health Insurance Fund (CNAM), it says that this remuneration was wanted :
As part of the deployment of vaccination against Covid-19 in 2021, it was decided to remunerate health professionals entering the information of people vaccinated against Covid-19. This fixed remuneration of 5.40 euros, for each patient informed, was established with a view to enhancing this essential work both administratively and medically.
But according to another source, who wishes to remain anonymous, the CPAM would have had difficulty adjusting payments made to liberals who registered patients with their CPS card, which for a time led to uncapped payouts.
“6,500 euros is nothing compared to others”, indicates this CPAM source. According to her, some Liberals in the same situation as Eric would have received more than 10,000 euros per month.
When the CPAM realized that there had been far too large payments, they capped them at a maximum of 3,000 euros per month. There were checks, too, to verify that the payments were not too large.
This is confirmed by a communication officer at the CNAM: “This fixed remuneration was however capped, whether it is the sums collected per month (3,000 euros) or per day (270 euros)”. However, it does not specify from when these ceilings were put in place.
Overpayments difficult to assess
With the defender of the rights of his department, Éric calculated the overpayments paid by the Health Insurance. In his vaccination center, up to 1000 injections a day were carried out. Multiplied by the number of centers in France, the amount could reach millions of euros. But this calculation is only a draft, because all the vaccination centers did not have the same functioning.
In the one where Valérie*, a retired nurse, worked, young job seekers took care of administrative tasks – not volunteers. The money received for registration acts by CPS cardholders was paid directly to these young people, at the rate of 40 euros per day. “The liberal nurses left a check every day to the young people, to give them this money”, she specifies.
Some centers aware
If Eric was not aware of this additional pay, in other centers the practice was well known. Marine*, a liberal nurse who vaccinated in a center in Occitania, explains:
In my center, it was considered a bonus, as an additional gain. The check-in station was very popular! I only managed to swipe my CPS card once. People came early in the morning to make sure they were on the board.
For Sophie * on the other hand, who worked in Bordeaux, “the carers were absolutely not aware”.
When he saw the first sums paid into his account, Éric called CPAM.
When I said that this amount was not due to me, my interlocutor replied that they owed it to me, that it was the robot that did that. I was told that if it was related to my card, it was my responsibility.
Subsequently, seeing the payments continue, Eric sent two emails to Health Insurance and called their switchboard. He then spoke to a chief accountant who advised him “to report otherwiseby other means.
I found it just amazing that someone told me that when the problem came from them! I haven’t received any response for several months.
Retrocede the sums
Eric doesn’t know what to do with the money he received. He doesn’t dare touch itfor fear that the CPAM will claim it one day.
Do I pay it to volunteer associations, knowing that the Health Insurance could ask me for it? Do I send it back to the CPAM knowing that no proof of my reimbursement will be given to me?
According to the anonymous interlocutor of the Health Insurance, “the CPAM can do nothing; they were overwhelmed and the texts were done like that, in a hurry”. She continues: “If caregivers wish retrocede the sums received, they can always set up private law contracts with the vaccination centres. It would be a way ofoversee the payment of money legally”.
For Eric, it is necessary to stop the losses and this immediately. “I hope that the Sécu puts things in the clear to stop squandering money in a useless way”, he affirms.
The nurse is preparing to work in a one-time vaccination center in Occitania. His manager confirmed to him that he would continue to be paid both on time and on the spot.
Actu.fr tried to contact the other actors concerned. So far, the ARS, the National Order of Physicians and Nurses have not responded to our requests.
*Names have been changed
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