Virtual primary care startup Firefly Health is starting to look a little bit more like a managed-care organization.
After raising $40 million in new funding, the startup is looking to build out a health plan benefit built on its network, with the idea of incentivizing members and employers for care navigation choices with savings.
The Watertown, Mass-based startup was founded in 2016 as a virtual primary care company, where users can talk to a designated care team virtually or in person. Although it started with primary care and behavioral health, it has also struck partnerships with outside providers such as Minute Clinic, Joslin Diabetes and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Though Firefly offered virtual visits before the pandemic, they became a more common care avenue in the last year. Now, other telehealth companies are looking to steer their services toward more of a primary care model.
“Virtual primary care saw tremendous growth over the last year. But, disconnected, episodic care — virtual or not — does not address the overly burdensome, wildly expensive process patients typically face in the healthcare system,” Firefly CEO Fay Rotenberg said in a news release.
Firefly is currently available in Massachusetts, Maine, New York, and New Jersey, and plans to expand into several new markets this year. That effort will be supported by a $40 million series B round, led by Andreessen Horowitz and supported by previous investors F-Prime Capital and Oak HC/FT.
Its health plan ambitions might not be so distant from its current model. Rather than charging for its services on a fee-for-service basis, it charges employers on a per-member, per-month basis.
In a blog post, Andreesen Horowitz General Partner Julie Yoo, pointed to the rise of “payviders,” or groups that pay for services, like an insurer, and administer them, like a healthcare provider. She will join Firefly’s board of directors.
“Firefly fits squarely into several of our investment theses around primary care and the modern health benefits stack. It’s rare to see a company that delivers on a value-based care model, while also having a tech platform that connects its care teams, patients, and outside referral partners in both the online and offline world,” she said in a news release. “We’re excited to support Fay and her team as Firefly accelerates the growth of its care delivery and benefits platform to bring affordable, delightful navigation, primary care, behavioral health, and virtual specialty care to the commercial and individual insurance markets.”
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