The Firefly Hypertension Experience

Published July 14, 2021

female checking her blood pressure from home

Hypertension (aka high blood pressure) is a common but potentially dangerous condition. When left untreated, high blood pressure (BP) can lead to serious health issues, including heart attack, chronic kidney disease, and stroke. Because it typically doesn’t have noticeable symptoms, it's important to know your risk factors — and take steps to reduce them. >75% of our members have their blood pressure (BP) under control, so it’s clear that Firefly has built a successful hypertension management program, and we’d like to share some details of that patient experience with you.

Managing hypertension from home

A typical hypertension treatment program would require frequent in-person visits to your primary care provider, but who has time for that? Not only is scheduling these visits inconvenient, but they can actually be the cause of hypertension symptoms. Some patients suffer from “white coat syndrome,” a disorder in which a person develops high blood pressure when they are around clinicians. This can cause people who usually have normal blood pressure to find that it spikes when they visit a clinical setting.

Receiving virtual care through Firefly Health takes the pressure off by allowing you to talk to your clinician wherever you’re most comfortable!

We know what you’re thinking. How can we help you manage your high blood pressure without in-person visits? Rest assured that telemedicine is extremely effective in the management of hypertension, as it allows for virtual monitoring of vitals, medication tracking, lifestyle education, and consultation.

Before your visit

Before you schedule a visit with your primary care team, you’ll be asked to provide a complete medical history. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure in the past, our Member Operations team will provide you with a complimentary blood pressure cuff before the visit even occurs, preparing both you and your care team to get accurate blood pressure readings right off the bat and ensure consistency with care in the future!

The iHealth Track Wireless Upper Arm cuff allows for easy reading and storage of results to review during your visit. Soon those readings will be synced with the Firefly app for seamless data sharing with your clinician.

Never taken your own blood pressure before? We’ve got you covered. Your designated health guide is available to teach you exactly how to use your new blood pressure cuff. Or, check out the lowdown on high blood pressure for tips on how to take accurate blood pressure from home.

Clinical support

The clinical support you’ll receive to manage your hypertension is unparalleled. You have not one but two clinical experts at your disposal who can help guide you along your hypertension journey. Your nurse practitioner will serve as your clinical point person, conducting routine health reviews and managing your medications. Your physician is also available if you have any complex illnesses or concerns.

Your clinicians will work with you to determine your specific blood pressure target to help prevent the long-term problems that hypertension can cause. They will monitor your blood pressure every 6 months and check lab work every year. If your blood pressure is above range, your clinicians and health guide will work with you quickly to help it get back in range with lifestyle changes and medications.

We know that no two patients are the same, and as we treat your hypertension we keep that in mind with individualized care plans that will outline a personalized approach to treating your high blood pressure. Our process includes joint visits between you, your clinician, and your designated health guide. These visits will provide you with insight from a clinical POV (medication changes and recommendations) while also bringing in your health guide to discuss lifestyle changes (like diet and exercise).

Routine and accountability is key, and with our model, you have a support system rallying behind you to accomplish goals that you set! Read more about our care team model here.

Reaching your blood pressure goals

In addition to clinical intervention, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce your blood pressure at home, but we believe you shouldn’t have to do that alone! Health guides work closely with the rest of your care team, focusing on helping you create healthy habits that stick. They can help you develop health and wellness goals, offer information about healthier habits, and keep you on track to meet your objectives around hypertension. For example, our "real recipe" series was developed by a Firefly health guide, and it’s hypertension and diabetes-friendly!

Firefly health guides are a regular point of contact to provide you with resources and information so you don’t have to wait for an actual visit — and they’re even available for interim conversations and follow-up.

Health Guides can also provide resources and support with:

  • Dietary Assessments
  • Nutrition
  • Substance Use
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Workout Routines
  • Weight Management
  • Stress Reduction

Additional resources

If your clinician suspects your at-home BP readings may not be accurate or needs additional information about how your medications are treating your blood pressure throughout the day, they may suggest you participate in 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. This is a one-day test that’s done at home and provides you and your team BP readings every 15 minutes with a special device.

We also have an expansive specialty care network that can get you access to clinicians and appointments sooner! If necessary, a Firefly clinician can provide referrals to cardiologists and nephrologists who will partner with your care team to evaluate and ensure you receive the best treatment possible.

As a Firefly member, you have a team of experts who can answer questions about your blood pressure, help you manage your medications, and build a care plan just for you. Schedule a visit in the app today. Not a member yet? Get started by signing up on our website, or giving us a call at (855) 869-9284.