What They’re Watching: Rafael Gonzalez-Amezcua, Aetna Better Health of California

Rafael Gonzalez-Amezcua, Chief Medical Officer for Aetna Better Health of California, is focused on addressing “the mismatch of expenditures versus outcomes” in the health care system.

As an internist who treats patients with chronic diseases, he also wants to increase preventive care in California, as he has seen many patients with chronic conditions who didn’t seek care because they didn’t have any symptoms, who later ended up in urgent care for their condition.

“One of the things I’ve noticed is that people with chronic conditions may not have any symptoms, and therefore may not seek care because they feel well,” he said. “Or, if they have a mild symptom, there’s barriers—they cannot get to their doctor, the next appointment is not for 3 months, and maybe their doctor did not recognize the issue—until the problem presents itself, which could be a heart attack, it could be an exacerbation of asthma, or chronic pulmonary disease like COPD, and then now we’re talking about a hospitalization, often in the ICU.”