A patient, otherwise known as the beneficiary of the care, is defined by:
A Directory Registration Number (NIR) or social insurance number
A date of birth
A birth rank
The combination of these 3 criteria is necessary to identify the beneficiary of the care because one or more beneficiaries can be attached to a social insurance card.
(More explanations on: https://www.ameli.fr/morbihan/assure/remboursements/etre-bien-rembourse/carte-vitale )
The number of patients thus corresponds to the distinct number of social insurance numbers and dates and ranks of birth of beneficiaries of the treatment.
SantéDomStat Observatoire National - Essential