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Amino

Amino has raised $25 million in venture funding, led by Highland Capital Management, as the health care startup expands its transparency technology to employers, doctors and hospitals. Amino has now raised $45 million from investors since it started in 2013.

What Amino does: Anyone can go to Amino's website for free and look up a procedure or treatment in their area. Amino spits out names of doctors and hospitals based on a person's health insurance carrier, and people can see how much it could cost to see a provider and book an appointment. "The need for transparency is something that everyone seems to be clamoring for," Amino CEO and co-founder David Vivero told Axios.

The data are based on 9 billion insurance claims that Amino has bought and aggregated. Vivero used to be an executive at Zillow, the online real estate database company, so Amino is trying to do something similar.

How Amino will try to make money: Employers and doctors can pay Amino to plug into its technology and customize deductibles and out-of-pocket spending to employees or patients.

Amino's plan has attracted several big names to its advisory board, including Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard, Dr. Bob Wachter of the University of California San Francisco and Joy Pritts, the former top privacy official at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. It's still too early for Amino to consider going public, but Vivero said he "wouldn't rule it out."

Our thought bubble: There's a clear appetite for price and network transparency in health care especially as high deductibles, both for employer-based coverage and Obamacare plans in the individual market, aren't going away. But there's a limit to shopping in health care, as many studies have shown. If your appendix explodes or you have a heart attack, you won't have time to rush to a transparency website to find the best deal or the quality ratings of a surgeon. Other transparency companies, like Castlight Health, also have struggled to catch on.

Go deeper

Everyone wants to be an influencer

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The number of people looking to become online influencers has exploded during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Almost anyone can find themselves in a position to become an influencer, and brands are throwing billions of dollars at online content creators.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries to passengers and crew on Saturday, per authorities and a company statement.

The big picture: 141 passengers and 16 crew members were estimated to be on the Empire Builder train, traveling from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, when eight of the 10 cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak said early Sunday.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court is set to hear a challenge Wednesday to a vaccine mandate planned for New York City school employees.

Why it matters The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system. But a judge on Friday temporarily blocked the measure, per AP.