“As a fully virtual primary care and behavioral health solution, we know that most primary care and behavioral health can be done virtually, but certain things need to be done in person,” Jeff Greenberg, Firefly’s co-founder and chief network officer, said in an interview. “And so we look for top notch partners to work with us and be an extension of us when folks need in-person care.”
Under the partnership, Firefly’s members will be able to receive common medical services from Sprinter clinicians in their homes — such as vital checks, blood draws, electrocardiograms, diabetic eye exams and diabetic foot screenings. Sprinter will send the results to Firefly physicians to review.
Sprinter’s team should be thought of as “data collectors and data providers,” according to Max Cohen, the startup’s CEO.
“We don’t want to treat the patient,” he told MedCity News. “We want to get that data back to the doctors who patients already have a relationship with. And so Firefly is a great partner to be able to do exactly that.”
Cohen and Greenberg agreed that this partnership is seeking to address healthcare’s “last mile” problem. Firefly may be able to provide satisfying virtual primary care visits to its patients, but what happens if a doctor recommends a patient to get their bloodwork done or tells them they need a diabetic eye exam? Instead of leaving the patient to figure out how to schedule that appointment, Firefly can arrange to have a phlebotomist or nurse sent to their home.
Both executives also pointed out that the partnership can help patients with chronic conditions keep up with the care journeys. For example, diabetic patients are expected to receive regular screenings for their foot and eye health, but they often go without these exams.
Firefly will cover the cost of Sprinter visits for its members, so they won’t face a copay.
To measure the success and quality of this partnership, Firefly and Sprinter will track metrics such as on-time arrivals, visit completion rates, net promoter score and the number of patients who agree to have a Sprinter clinician visit their home.
The partners will begin rolling out their joint program to Firefly patients in the Boston area. They hope to expand the program next year, with Texas likely being the next market, according to Greenberg.
The partnership comes about a month after Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts announced it was offering a new virtual primary option through Firefly or Carbon Health.
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