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Healthtech Startup Tennr Bags $18 Mn to Fix US Healthcare’s Fax Problem

Written by : Arti Ghargi

March 27, 2024

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Tennr founders (Image Source: Press release)

Tennr claims to solve a major issue in US Healthcare systems- the prevalence of fax machines, by ‘working with and not against’ it.


YCombinator-backed healthtech automation startup Tennr bagged $18 million in Series A funding on Tuesday. With the latest capital infusion, Tennr’s total fund raised has reached $25 mn.

While the funding round was led by a16z (Andreessen Horowitz), Foundation Capital and The New Normal Fund also participated in the round.

Other participants from seed round included YCombinator, Zaza Pachulia, Jennifer Kaehms, and other notable health and AI focused investors.

Founded by Stanford grads Trey Holterman, Diego Baugh, and Tyler Johnson, Tennr helps speciality practices to automate referral processing, payment posting, claims auditing, medical record management and more.

The trio met during their freshman year when machine learning piqued their interest. They realized that contextual models could do a good job at repetitive, manual tasks and can automate several such tasks in traditional industries.

Post graduation, they spent years in building powerful, robust systems for reading unstructured documents, automating data entry, and applying them specifically to healthcare, the statement said.

Tennr claims to solve a major issue in US Healthcare systems- the prevalence of fax machines, by ‘working with and not against’ it.

The startup said the latest capital infusion will be used to grow its team, scale its operations, and help organizations automate everything that starts with a fax.

“Amidst the theoretically unbounded possibilities of AI, the Tennr team has impressed us with their unwavering focus on building applications solving specific, tangible problems for their customers,” said Kristina Shen, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

Fixing the Fax Hurdle in Healthcare

In 2009, when the US govt brought the HITECH Act, many thought the digitization wave will make fax machines, a technology older than telephones and the internet, obsolete. Fifteen years later, even though health systems in the US have integrated EHRs, fax machines are thriving.

Today, e-faxing is still the default mode for sharing patient records, audit requests, and referrals back to coordinate patient care.

This is time-consuming and vulnerable to human error. On the other hand, it leads to delay in patients receiving critical care, expensive claim denials and creates unnecessary back-and-forth between caregivers and patients.

Most of the startups have been trying to solve the problem by eliminating faxes out of the healthcare equation and yet according to estimates around 9 billion faxes are sent out by the healthcare industry every year.

Primarily, because healthcare providers believe faxes are more dependable than emails or telephone calls. Tennr says its solution works with and not against the fax machines.

The startup in its statement said that instead of trying to change the way practices work, Tennr works inside the solution health systems trust and are familiar with.

“When building Tennr and this healthcare integration, we looked at what’s actually needed and saw what was possible with technology. Our number one integration today is across fax providers, on-prem file storage systems and EHRs from the 90s,” said Trey Holterman, CEO and cofounder of Tennr.

(Image Source: Press release)

How Does Tennr Work Along with Fax Machines?

As per the startup, Tennr reads the documents received through digital fax (via email or their EHR inbox) and automates the work associated with processing them.

It finds key information from the faxed document and moves the information quickly to ensure streamlined care delivery.

For example, when a primary care provider refers a patient to a specialty practice through a faxed referral, Tennr extracts the relevant patient information and coordinates with them to schedule their appointment quickly and accurately.

In case the fax referral is incomplete, it sends automatic requests for the missing information. This also helps in managing insurance claims better as unclear information often leads to claim denial.

The startup, however, agrees that actually reading the faxes and integrating with outdated systems is the hard part.

Practices often receive many pages long patient documents containing messy blobs of data which are difficult for computers to work with.

However, Tennr has found clients especially in specialty practices which mostly get patients based on referrals from primary care centers.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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