The Phase I STTR Boosts Omaha Medical Startup
The National Institutes of Health awarded Breezmed a $301,383 grant to explore the real cost of prior authorizations. Breezmed is the primary recipient under the Small Business Technology Transfer Research Grant (STTR), a very competitive program that awards research grants for small business. The grant is a phase I award, which is intended to serve as proof of concept. Prior authorizations are processes used by insurance companies to oversee prescriptions and prescribed procedures. Studies continue to paint a dire picture of the cost of prior authorizations and Breezmed brings a novel software system to expedite their approval.
“It is so great to see the NIH recognize Breezmed,” said Dr. Michael Dixon, CEO of UNeMed. “Not only is it answering some important questions, but it is a business that is clearly targeted at an important market need.”
In the grant, Breezmed will conduct surveys of doctors, patients, and administrators. The goal is to get a more complete measure of the burden of prior authorizations across the healthcare system. There have been many attempts to get a measure of the full cost of prior authorizations. Those attempts show surprisingly high administrative burdens at multiple levels of the healthcare system. Breezmed’s grant will provide new insight into the real cost of prior authorizations.
“I already knew that prior authorizations were a big problem,” said Dr. Steve Salzbrenner, inventor and founder of Breezmed. “But the early results of our research just floored me – it’s bigger than I’d even thought.”
Current research puts the estimated cost of prior authorizations at billions of dollars annually. The results of the surveys will inform the development of a new interface. Breezmed, working with Omaha’s H4 Technologies, will then iteratively design and test that new interface to streamline approval of prior authorizations. H4’s work is supported under the STTR and will dramatically accelerate Breezmed’s efforts to bring a great new product to market.
“We are so grateful for the NIH to recognize how much of a problem prior authorizations really are,” concluded Dr. Salzbrenner. Thanks to the NIH, Breezmed will help more precisely measure the burden of prior authorizations and then launch the tool to solve it.