UNMC Adult Psychiatrist Stephen Salzbrenner, M.D., was honored at this year’s UNeMed Innovation Awards as the Startup of the Year for his software Breezmed.
The Innovation Awards recognize faculty, students, and staff within the University of Nebraska system that invented a new technology, licensed an invention or secured intellectual property rights during the previous fiscal year. Along with Startup of the Year, UNeMed also presents Emerging Inventor, Lifetime Achievement, and Innovator of the Year awards as circumstances dictate.
“I was shocked to get this award,” said Dr. Salzbrenner. “Breezmed started with an idea and just kept gaining steam. In many ways, I feel like I’m still fumbling around and tripping over my own feet as I navigate all of the intricacies of starting a company. This award serves as recognition that I’m moving forward and that the future of Breezmed is bright. I want to thank all of my mentors for being there over the last few years.”
UNeTech nominated Breezmed. UneTech is the University of Nebraska’s startup incubator and accelerator in Omaha, nurturing early-stage companies with ties to the University. Breezmed was nominated for “its outstanding achievement to translate innovation into vital new products.”
An assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Salzbrenner, with help from health software company H4 Technology, created Breezmed, a program which solves many of the problems patients deal with when it comes to prior authorizations.
For those who aren’t familiar with prior authorizations, it is a process insurance companies use to make sure doctors and other providers practice safe prescribing habits. The downside is that the current process is time-consuming and burdensome for nurses and prescribers, such as doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. The goal of Breezmed is to speed up the process of getting insurance providers to approve prescriptions.
“It’s called Breezmed because I want it to be a breeze,” Dr. Salzbrenner said. “I want doctors to enjoy their job, kick up their feet, sip some coffee, and know there’s a solution out there.”
Dr. Howard Liu, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, said he was glad to see Dr. Salzbrenner’s hard work recognized.