Prescribe Fit – Attacking the Root Cause of MSK Issues
Prescribe fit is a virtual/telehealth-based orthopedic health startup. It is specified for patients that are dealing with orthopedic bone and muscle injuries. Prescribe fit raised 4 million in seed funding. The round was led by Tamarind Hill with participation from the Grote Family as well as Mike Kaufman, the former CEO of Cardinal Health. According to the company, proceeds of the funding will be used to aggressively expand the company, as well as broaden and accelerate product development.
According to the Bone and Joint initiative USA, 124 million Americans suffer from a musculoskeletal disorder
On average, 1 out of 4 elderly adults fall each year and over 800,000 people end up in the hospital due to a fall injury per the U.S. CDC
Patients who experienced falls had longer hospital stays and were more frequently discharged to other healthcare facilities, instead of their primary residence according to a study by the Hospital for Special Surgery
According to an article in the Journal of Medicine, fear of falling often develops after experiencing a fall and developing a fear of falling can cause older adults to avoid physical activity, experience more difficulty with activities of daily living, and become less able to perform exercises.
Originally started as a weight loss coaching startup in January 2020, Prescribe Fit was only able to secure only one client after enduring the shutdown of all non-essential health services during the Pandemic. Co-founded by CEO, Brock Leonti, who previously owned a home health agency for approximately six years, the company worked at that time to help treat obesity and served primary care doctors. While the company was limited to just one client during the Pandemic they were able to test and refine their model as well as a number of treatment models. As part of that the company gleaned a number of insights including how to successfully use remote patient monitoring technology and the need for limited administrative burden on physicians.
Based on its experience and what it had learned during the Pandemic in August 2022 Prescribe Fit transitioned its business model to focus solely on orthopedic practices and the treatment of the root causes of MSK issues. According to Leonti, this includes helping orthopedic patients reduce blood pressure, blood sugar & weight at-home and partnering with orthopedic practices to improve their patients mental acuity, flexibility & endurance. As noted in the Columbus Business Journal, “Prescribe Fit has a team of nurses and care coordinators who meet remotely with patients and “edit” their daily routines so their behavior changes stick.” This includes having patients take pictures of their meals and then having coordinators indicate where they may be able to reduce portion sizes or substitute healthier items in their diets. According to Leonti, this has allowed orthopedic patients to obtain 5.4% average weight loss in just 16 weeks and create personalized at-home health plans resulting in 80%+ of patients staying engaged for 9+ months, both of which help improve MSK issues.
According to the Bone and Joint initiative USA, 124 million Americans suffer from an MSK disorder but will often end up treating the symptoms and not addressing the root cause. In part this is due to the limited availability of orthopedic specialists and other clinicians to address these issues. By connecting these patients via specialists offices with nurses and other case managers who can address specific dietary and behavior issues that are contributing to these conditions (ex: lack of exercise or inappropriate exercise routines) Prescribe Fit is helping improve the quality of care while lowering the cost. Moreover, since patients are being monitored by clinicians using remote patient monitoring (RPM) and chronic disease management tools, physicians are able to create an additional reimbursement stream (while paying Prescribe Fit a management fee). As the U.S. gets older demographically a larger proportion of the population will have to deal with MSK issues that can lead to falls and injuries which can often compound into other issues. By addressing these issues and helping patients strengthen bones and improve muscle tone Prescribe Fit may help reduce the incidence (and cost) of such issues.