What They’re Watching: Paul Hegyi, San Diego County Medical Society

Paul Hegyi, CEO of the San Diego County Medical Society, says the county has been dealing with a backlog of patients who previously had their care deferred. Deferrals have caused patient conditions to worsen, consequently increasing the cost of caring for them.

“Some people are still afraid to go into offices and go into hospitals,” he said. “[We have to] make sure that they know that it’s a safe environment, that they’re not going to contract COVID in those cases, and that they’re doing more harm to themselves by not getting the care that they need.”

The rising cost of health care, Hegyi says, was a problem prior to COVID-19 but has only gotten worse.

“[The cost of health care] is untenable, and we realize that …” he said. “Health care as taking up more and more of gross domestic product, of the state budget, of personal budgets, and business budgets, and that’s unsustainable. And we need to be part of the solution to that.”