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he French medical system, in your pocket
From: Dave Farber <dfarber () me com>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2010 11:48:27 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Ted Nelson <tandm () xanadu net>
Date: June 12, 2010 6:01:45 PM EDT
To: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Cc: Ted Nelson <tandm () xanadu net>
Subject: Dave-- the French medical system, in your pocket
Reply-To: tandm () xanadu net

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jack Richey <torchbearer1 () msn com>
Date: Sat, Jun 12, 2010 at 10:59 AM
Subject: Carte vitale (Card of life)

Dear Friends:

     The Carte  Vitale is a green plastic credit card with a small
gold memory chip in the middle.  Each of the 61 million residents of
France carries it all the time.  Embedded in the gold metallic square
is a digital record of every doctor visit, referral, injection,
operation, x-ray, diagnostic test, prescription, warning, etc together
with a report on how much the doctor billed and how much was paid, by
the insurance funds and by the patient.  Everybody in France has this
card. A child under 15 has his records maintained on his mothers card.
When the doctor receives the card from his patient he slides it into a
small reader on his desk and the patients medical record is displayed
on the doctor's computer screen.  Thus, doctors and hospitals do not
have large file cabinets full of records.  The doctor proposes a
remedy (shot, course of drugs, referral to specialist, whatever) and
types a record of the visit and his treatment.  That goes onto the
carte vitale.  The patient takes his carte vitale with him to the drug
store, or hospital or specialist and the treatment is carried out.
The golf chip is encrypted and there is no breach of patient privacy
from lost cards.
      When the doctor completes his treatment and enters the days
treatment on card, he simply hits the "transmit" key and all the
billing information is transmitted to each of the relevant insurance
plans.  The insurance funds are required to pay him and pay him
quickly.  They do.  No quibbles.
      Doctors and hospitals do not need to hire clerks and
administrative people to bill insurance companies.  No necessity to
hire collection companies.  No paper handlers.  No secretaries or
office managers.  No administrative or clerical personnel  whose main
task is billing hundreds of payers and documenting all medical
      This email is not a political statement by me.  I am not
endorsing the universal health care system of France, Germany,
England, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, Taiwan or any other country.  I
just wanted to let you know how this amazing Carte Vitale card saves a
huge amount of money in France.

Best regards, Jack

Theodor Holm Nelson PhD
Founder of computer hypertext, 1960
Fifty years fighting for a better world
 of rich parallel documents, visibly connected.
Visiting Professor of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton, UK.

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