Value-based conundrum: How to measure complexity and value in primary care

March 16, 2022 / By Dr. Kyna Fong

Click to listen to the podcastAt a national level, high performing health systems stand on a foundation of high performing primary care.  Without that foundation we would expect care to be expensive, quality to be variable, and the experience of care to be fragmented and often frustrating.

Our payment policies in the U.S. consistently shortchange the work of primary care and we are all suffering the consequences. Even in instances where some of us may be lucky enough to have a high functioning primary care practice (great access, someone who knows us as a person and not just a disease, who coordinates any care we may need in the wider health care system while providing comprehensive care), we are all bearing the costs.

Our insurance premiums are used in part to cover care for those who do not have access to high performing primary care or who have no insurance. Our high premiums and deductibles are used in part to cover poor outcomes that are a consequence of delayed or denied care, to cover the unfortunate incentives that make primary care the illogical career choice for medical students.

Dr. Kyna Fong was a professor of economics at Stanford when she and her brother decided to start a company that supports independent primary care doctors like their father’s. They built technology that first serves the relationship between the person and their clinician – as opposed to most medical record companies that are built to serve insurance claims.

In this Inside Angle podcast episode, Dr. Fong describes primary care in a way that will resonate with many people when they consider what kind of care they would want for themselves or their family. She describes technology as an enabler that allows a clinician to focus their attention on the person and not be buried in a screen.

Listen to Dr. Fong on this episode of the Inside Angle podcast.