Firefly Health gives patients access to a virtual care team that they can connect with around the clock
Two problems plague the US healthcare system and will not go away anytime soon: rising costs and poor quality of care. In fact, both problems seem to be getting worse, not better.
In 1960, health care costs were $ 27.2 billion, which is 5% of GDP. By 2018 it was $ 3.6 trillion, or 17.7 percent of GDP. That’s a difference of $ 147 per person to $ 11,172 per person. And for all the money, the U.S. healthcare system is worse than the rest of the developed world in many ways, with higher respiratory death rates, higher premature deaths, and higher maternal mortality rates. Not to mention the US ranks last in terms of access and quality of health care.
It is this broken system that Firefly Health is looking to overtake. The company, which employs a virtual-first concierge service for basic services, announced a $ 40 million Series B round of funding sponsored by Andreessen Horowitz along with existing investors F-Prime Capital and Oak HC / FT is directed. This is the company’s first funding since raising $ 10.2 million in 2019.
Along with the funding, it was also announced that a16z General Partner Julie Yoo has joined the board of directors of Firefly Health.
“Firefly fits right in with some of our investment themes around primary care and the modern stack of healthcare services. It is rare for a company to deliver a value-based care model while having a technology platform that connects care teams, patients and external referral partners in both online and offline worlds, “Yoo said in a statement.
Firefly Health was founded in 2016 and offers services such as holistic care for wellness, chronic illnesses and behavioral disorders as well as same-day appointments, 24-hour chat, referrals to specialists and help with achieving health goals.
Patients can download the Firefly app for free and gain access to a dedicated nursing team for virtual and personal coaching and support, including a doctor, nurse, health guide and behavioral medicine specialist. The patient can send a message to his team at any time around the clock. Together, the patient and their team create a plan based on their health and goals. They can then set up regular video or chat check-ins and adjust the plan based on new insights.
While physicians on Firefly practice 100% virtually, the company also enables face-to-face visits through its partner network, which includes access to emergency care providers, home care providers, local specialist care organizations such as Dana Farber and Joslin as, and many specialist partners.
Firefly’s services are backed by the health benefits people receive through their employer. This means that there are no additional costs for the patient. Instead, they only pay their regular office and video visits costs. The company currently works with insurance companies that include Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, AllWays Health Partners, the Tufts Health Plan, UniCare and UnitedHealthcare. Firefly may also accept some types of Medicare in Massachusetts as an established Medicare member ages.
Thanks to its platform, the company has succeeded in saving employers over 30 percent of the health costs of their employees and at the same time reducing the number of emergency doctor visits by 52 percent. The company has also managed to reduce the weight of 50% of its obese patients by over 5% within a year of joining Firefly.
“We are a virtual first healthcare system with providers of primary care, virtual specialists and providers of behavioral medicine, which is complemented by a network of partners for physical facilities and supported by a powerful technology-based operating platform,” said Fay Rotenberg, CEO of Firefly in September the company’s management, it said in a statement.
“Our model, packaged as full health benefits, is making half-price healthcare that is clinically and emotionally twice as good a reality for all of our patients.”
The company currently operates in Massachusetts, Maine, New York and New Jersey and plans to use the new funds to expand into several new markets this year.
The company also announced that it will launch a new health plan offering called the Firefly Plan later this year. The idea is to strengthen navigation and motivate members and sponsors with direct savings. The Firefly plan rewards smart lifestyle and care navigation choices with direct savings for members and employers.
(Image source: firefly.health)