Five Star Bank the wholly-owned community bank subsidiary of Financial Institutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISI), and the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) announced an innovative partnership intended to expand health care access in rural communities in Upstate New York.
Through the initiative, select Five Star Bank branch locations in Steuben and Seneca Counties are installing Higi health stations that allow users to measure and track key health indicators, including blood pressure and weight. As part of this pilot program, the stations will facilitate live, on-demand telehealth appointments with URMC providers in the near future.
Five Star Bank and UR Medicine issued a news release with more details earlier today.
Branches selected for the initiative are located in communities with few locally-based health care providers, and where many residents lack ready access to the internet at home. Officials of both institutions said they believed this is the first time a health system has partnered with a financial institution to provide access to care via telemedicine-equipped health stations.
“Our goal is to provide patients across Upstate New York access to care as close to home as possible, and we increasingly are applying telemedicine technology to achieve that goal,” said URMC Chief Digital Health Officer Michael Hasselberg. “This approach allows us to align telemedicine care with patients’ existing health providers, or to refer them to a local primary care provider if they do not have one. In some communities, a trusted financial institution may provide an ideal location for residents to access advanced telemedicine services conveniently, and we look forward to exploring that potential with Five Star Bank.”