Exploring the Connective Tissue Behind Carbon Health’s Recent Upswing

Exploring the Connective Tissue Behind Carbon Health’s Recent Upswing. Carbon Health. A hand stacking balls in circles that are connected to other circles in a network.

Like many of its competitors that are trying to transform health care, startup Carbon Health began by casting a wide net. The company had major initiatives in areas like public health, remote patient monitoring and chronic care programs alongside its hybrid care model, which combines custom technology and an integrated care team to help patients manage their care on the go.

More recently, however, Carbon Health has pivoted to concentrate on primary and urgent care. Its recent partnership with CVS Health, which included a $100 million investment from the retailer’s corporate venture arm, involves a pilot program to use Carbon Health’s primary and urgent care clinic model in some of the drugstore chain’s outlets.

Central to Carbon Health’s strategy is its Connective Care primary care model, which includes four main components:

Connective Care Primary Care Model: goal setting with patients; measurement tracking; an integrated team of care providers; hybrid care options.

The Connective Care model recently was made available beginning last month through a partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Firefly Health. The model is now included in most Blue Cross MA health plans, with members able to choose a provider from Carbon Health or Firefly, which will provide primary care, mental health and referrals to in-person providers in their network when needed.

Participants in the model receive Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-oriented goals for nutrition, exercise and stress from their providers. Patients will use Carbon Health’s app to share biometric data from connected devices like blood pressure cuffs, continuous glucose monitors and weight scales to self-report data and symptoms, and participants can share their scores on mental health questionnaires. The data are used to help providers and patients assess progress toward the goals.

Patients can connect with caregivers through virtual visits during and between visits. Carbon Health leaders believe the Connective Care model will draw patients who value convenience and easy access to care and who had positive virtual care experiences during the pandemic. The model also offers a number of touch points through the app, the web, chat function, asynchronous communication and email. They also believe the program will lower emergency department use and lead to better chronic disease management.

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