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Good luck to all the Boston Marathon competitors.
Morning Brew April 15, 2024

Healthcare Brew


Happy Monday! It’s marathon day in Boston, so runners are likely checking their smartwatches. A new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which looked at Apple Watch data, found that more than 1,500 research participants ran about 2,623 marathons in total. The largest participation rate also occurred in the 35–44 age group, per the study. Maybe that gives you some motivation to train for your next marathon.

In today’s edition:

Deal frenzy

Billing process

Survey says

—Maia Anderson, Amanda Eisenberg


Funding landscape

An image of a red cross, pill bottles, and health carts surrounding a phone. Francis Scialabba

After a tough funding year for digital health startups, the first quarter of 2024 saw a flurry of deals announced—a “positive signal” that the funding landscape is looking up, according to Adriana Krasniansky, head of research at digital health strategy group and venture fund Rock Health’s advisory arm.

Overall, the number of digital health funding deals (133) that closed in Q1 was the highest in six quarters, though the average deal size ($20.6 million) was smaller, according to a Rock Health report. Total funding for digital health startups was $2.7 billion, the lowest level since 2019.

An increase in the frequency of deals—even if they’re smaller—is a good sign, according to Krasniansky.

Keep reading here.—MA

Do you work in healthcare or have information about the industry that we should know? Email Maia at [email protected]. For confidential conversations, ask Maia for her number on Signal.



Trust or bust


HITRUST is quickly becoming the compliance gold standard for healthcare tech companies—but getting HITRUST-certified is no small task. Fear not, healthcare pros. Thoropass's new guide covers everything you need to know.

Why get certified in the first place? HITRUST’s robust security controls and assessment levels help organizations show their commitment to protecting health data. In a crowded and competitive marketplace, this certification can help you stand out from the crowd.

Whether you’re looking to achieve e1, i1, or r2 compliance, the guide digs into what you need to get compliant—fast. Learn about:

  • the benefits of HITRUST certification
  • what to expect from the certification process
  • which assessment type is right for your organization

Read the full guide here.


Simplifying payments

Repeated dental model on the pink background Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images

Dental startup Tend aims to simplify the patient billing process via a partnership with health tech startup Cedar, the companies announced on April 11.

The US spends roughly $165 billion per year on dental services as of 2022, according to professional organization the American Dental Association—but the payment experience can be “opaque” and “confusing,” Matthew Fitzgerald, chief marketing officer at Tend, told Healthcare Brew.

“From the outset, Tend has sought to innovate the dental experience by leveraging technology and hospitality to build a company around the patient,” Tend CEO Troy Bage said in a statement. “By partnering with Cedar, we’ll be able to streamline and simplify the payment process for all our members—further enhancing their overall experience with Tend, while unlocking new ways for us to elevate engagement.”

Keep reading here.—MA



Survey says

A female medical practitioner assures a patient. Ljubaphoto/Getty Images

The overlords have gone corporate.

For the first time, corporations own more physician practices than health systems or hospitals, according to an analysis from not-for-profit advocacy group the Physician Advocacy Institute (PAI).

Per the analysis, which uses data from healthcare consulting and advisory firm Avalere, 30.1% of physician practices are owned by corporations, which include insurers, private equity (PE) firms, and large pharmacy chains, compared to 28.4% of hospital- and health system-owned facilities, as of January 1. Overall, non-physicians own nearly three in five physician practices (58.5%), according to the analysis.

Keep reading here.—AE

Do you work in healthcare or have information about the industry that we should know? Email Amanda at [email protected]. For confidential conversations, ask Amanda for her number on Signal.




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A laptop tracking vital signs is placed on rolling medical equipment. Francis Scialabba

Today’s top healthcare reads.

Stat: More than 1,200 pregnant and postpartum patients died from overdoses in 2020. (CNN)

Quote: “It’s during times of change where companies are most vulnerable.”—Michael Wagner, consumer health company Kenvue’s chief information security officer, on spinning off from parent company Johnson & Johnson and experiencing cyberattacks (WSJ Pro)

Read: In the future, artificial wombs may help premature babies grow physiologically. (NPR)

Certified, verified: HITRUST certification is a serious undertaking for any organization, but it proves your org is committed to security. Thoropass's guide explains everything you need to know about getting certified. Get it here.*

*A message from our sponsor.


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Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.