DocGo aims to bring kidney care the final mile by partnering with Fresenius Medical Care

DocGo aims to bring kidney care the final mile by expanding its partnership with Fresenius Medical Care to include remote patient monitoring, chronic care management and urgent care services.

The pair began the collaboration in 2019 when DocGo signed on as FMC’s preferred medical transportation partner. CEO of DocGo Anthony Capone told Fierce Healthcare that the new preferred provider agreement builds on that collaboration. DocGo’s remote patient monitoring service aims to offer a solution for nephrologists to help patients truly manage their chronic conditions.

“We're there to say, 'Hey, it looks like you may be gaining a little bit of weight day over day, just try and make sure that you don't drink more than three or four ounces today, so things don't get worse, but keep going on with your day,'” Capone said. “As opposed to, 'I didn't realize that I drank a cup of water, which is a normal thing to do as a human being, and now all of a sudden I'm spending the next two days in the hospital.'”

“Now you know that you have somebody that's watching for you, that's being your safeguard, that's being your case manager, your care manager, that's being a true provider in your corner. Now, all of a sudden, I have somebody who's gotten my healthcare back, let me go and focus on other parts of life," he said.

The agreement will allow for FMC, the largest provider of kidney dialysis treatment in the country, to gain data insights from DocGo’s chronic condition management solution. DocGo takes monitoring data and can flag patients at risk of needing acute dialysis and entering the realm of end-stage renal disease.

With careful monitoring, patients can receive support through their provider or DocGo’s urgent care services before more drastic measures are needed. Capone said that this allows providers to focus on the most severe patients while also spending fewer precious point-of-care minutes discussing care plan adherence.

When necessary, DocGo can arrange ambulance transport to the care facility that a patient’s provider believes can best meet their unique needs. The multiyear agreement is expected to start May 1.

“You need to have data, but it's what you do with the data that matters,” Capone said. “Our goal and success is measured by being able to make sure that when that patient walks back into their provider’s office, they're more stable, and they've had fewer decompensations that resulted in hospitalizations. When the patient is not just trending vitals, but they look like they're rapidly decompensating, we have the ability to immediately go and show up on-site and treat on the scene.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 780,000 end-stage renal disease patients and 37 million chronic kidney disease patients currently live in the U.S. FMC alone cares for over 344,000 dialysis patients globally.

DocGo began its RPM work in cardiology and is looking to future offerings in endocrinology and pulmonology. Capone believes that the use of the tech in subspecialties is still evolving due to the current workload of the providers in question. If patients are more closely monitored, and DocGo is triaging them to the right care, Capone said providers are better able to focus on longitudinal care for patients and can help them regain quality of life.

The company also has its eye on sustainable climate action.

DocGo, formerly Ambulnz, gained attention with its electric ambulance offering as a part of its Zero Emission initiative to transition to an all-electric fleet by 2032. By bringing care and medications to patients with its new partnership, Capone said the company saves patients money on gas to the pharmacy while also decreasing overall emissions.