Dr Charlie Fazio: Primary Care Innovation Is Important to Improve Patient Treatment

Although direct spending on primary care is low compared with other areas in healthcare, spending on innovations in primary care is important, explained Charlie Fazio, MD, senior vice president and medical director of HealthPartners.

Although direct spending on primary care is low compared with other areas in healthcare, spending on innovations in primary care is important, explained Charlie Fazio, MD, senior vice president and medical director of HealthPartners.

Transcript (slightly modified)

Direct spending on primary care isn’t that much relative to other areas of healthcare, so why is it important to focus innovation on primary care?

If we measure how much we spend on primary care, it’s true that it’s not that much. But, if we look at the care that primary care provides and coordinates, then we are talking about a sizable amount of care, in general.

So, what can we do to support primary care in that process? That’s all-important to us. So, it ranges from a variety of things, such as the people that are using as referral specialists. What’s their efficiency? What’s their patient satisfaction? How do they contribute to the total cost of care, that primary care experiences, with the population that they see? How can we make information available about that? How can we help them with the pricing and affordability of the drugs that they’re ordering so, real time they might have that information available to them?

Then, ultimately, what can we do that supports primary care in a way that when they see a patient, and it’s a complex patient, there’s really enough time to think through what’s all going on. What resources do I have that contribute to this patient’s care? How do I not feel just rushed and burdened in the course of a day with the illness burden that a group of patients might be bringing forward?

So, we feel like we can help with all of that.