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Tennr intakes $18M for fax automation

Mar 26, 2024
Illustration of a fax machine with paper shaped like "01."

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tennr, a provider of document automation software for health care practices that still rely on faxes, raised $18 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.

Why it matters: Health care has a love-hate relationship with the fax machine — which, while antiquated, is seen as a consistently secure and reliable means of sharing patient records.

How it works: Tennr's solution sits on top of existing EHR software, first reading and analyzing the incoming e-fax, and then entering the follow-up work (appointment scheduling, requesting missing info, etc.).

Other investors include Foundation Capital, The New Normal Fund, Y Combinator and former NBA player Zaza Pachulia.

The big picture: Despite federal policies like the HITECH Act of 2009 aimed at killing the fax machine in health care, the technology still underpins operations at many hospitals.

Between the lines: Though interoperability has been a legal mandate for more than a decade, a lack of standardization around data continues to hamper record sharing.

  • "Faxes remained popular in health care because they were HIPAA-compliant, but the more human explanation is that sending a fax is very easy," Tennr CEO Trey Holterman tells Axios' Dan Primack.
  • EHRs have been increasingly targeted by cyberattacks on hospitals given the amount of valuable patient data they contain. While data transmitted by faxes is still potentially at risk, cybercriminals aren't able to hack fax machines the same way they can hack an email service.

Yes, but: "It's still really hard to read them, which is a reason why so many people get specialist referrals that never get properly processed," Holterman says.

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