This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (December 2019)
|Founded||1997(as Athena Women's Health)|
|Products||athenaCollector (revenue cycle management, medical billing), athenaClinicals (electronic health records), athenaCommunicator (patient engagement, care coordination), Epocrates, and athenahealth Population Health (population health management)|
|Revenue||$1.3 billion (2019)|
Number of employees
|6,000+ (as of February 2019)|
The company was founded in 1997 in San Diego and is now headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts. They have also grown to include operational sites in Belfast, Maine, Atlanta, Georgia, Austin, Texas, Burlington, Vermont, Seattle, Washington, Princeton, New Jersey, with international operations in Chennai, Bangalore, and Pune, India.
Athenahealth began in 1997 as Athena Women's Health, a women's health and birthing center in San Diego, California. Cofounders Jonathan Bush and Todd Park set out to create a comfortable and comprehensive center, where mothers could receive "a warm and supportive environment, personal attention, better care, and superior results" while the back-end business was "a ruthlessly efficient operation, with a laser focus on costs."
At the birthing center, only 10% of babies were delivered by C-section, one third of the national average, and 90% of mothers were able to breastfeed their newborns, beating the national average of 67% at the time. Yet while quality increased, costs followed in suit, and Bush and Park eventually closed their birthing center and started a medical data company called Athenahealth on the heels of the Internet boom of 1999.
In 1998, venture funder Mark Wilson offered to buy Athenahealth's software for $11 million. Bush and Park turned down the offer and transitioned the business model from birthing centers to internet-based healthcare. They transformed Athena Women's Health to Athenahealth, Inc., pulling in Ed Park, Todd Park's younger brother and engineer, to develop a practice management system. Their new business endeavor aimed to “let doctors be doctors” and remove incessant and burdensome paperwork off doctors’ desks.
In 2000, Athenahealth's first client, Anchor Medical Associates, went live on athenaCollector, and in February, its first electronic claim was submitted. While its first office opened its doors in Waltham, Massachusetts in 2002, Athenahealth moved to Watertown, Massachusetts in 2005 and is still headquartered there today.
Athenahealth announced an initial public offering of its common stock on June 22, 2007. The offering was completed on September 20, 2007, at a price of $18 per share. It traded on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol ATHN until it was taken private in 2019.
Since moving its headquarters to Watertown in 2005, Athenahealth has created campuses in: Chennai, India, in 2005; Belfast, Maine, in 2008; Princeton, New Jersey, in 2013; Atlanta, Georgia, and San Francisco, California, in 2014; Austin, Texas, in 2015; and Bangalore and Pune, India, in 2017.
Involvement of Elliott Management
Illegal kickback allegations
On January 28, 2021, the United States Department of Justice reported that Athenahealth has agreed to pay $18.25 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by paying illegal kickbacks to generate sales of its EHR product, athenaClinicals.
Products and services
athenaOne is Athenahealth's fully integrated suite of cloud-based services, combining practice management (athenaCollector), an electronic health record (EHR) system (athenaClinicals), and care coordination (athenaCommunicator) into a single packaged offering.
Athenahealth's first product, athenaCollector, a cloud-based revenue cycle and practice management service, was launched in 2000. Built by Ed Park, the revenue cycle management system formed the foundation of athenaNet, Athenahealth's web-based system at large. (Ed Park would go on to become Athenahealth's Chief Operating Officer and member of its board.)
In 2006, the company launched athenaClinicals, reported as the "first economically sustainable, service-based" electronic medical records (EMR) system. athenaClinicals has been ranked as leading the market in EHR usability, due to its productivity and ability to reduce providers’ work, effectiveness of delivering patient care, and intuitive user interface.
In 2008, Athenahealth introduced athenaCommunicator to manage phone calls. Since then, the product has evolved into a suite of "patient engagement services," including a patient portal, patient self-scheduling solution, and live operator service to better help patients to schedule appointments, reschedule appointments, and make payments.
In 2013, the company purchased the Epocrates mobile brand, and continued to occupy Epocrates's offices in Princeton, New Jersey and San Francisco, California. As an Athenahealth service, Epocrates aggregates treatment information, including dosing and contraindications, to provide clinical decision support in the prescribing moments of care.
Epocrates drug monographs have also been embedded into the athenaClinicals EHR system to enhance productivity and reduce time not spent on patients.
Partnerships and acquisitions
More Disruption Please
Athenahealth's More Disruption Please (MDP) program was launched in 2011. The initiative is both a partner program and an incubator environment for independent companies to develop products and services connected to Athenahealth's ecosystem.
In 2014, Athenahealth created the More Disruption Please accelerator, an opportunity for young startups still finding their legs to begin developing in Athenahealth's MDP space. “The goal of [the MDP accelerator] is to lower the barrier of entry for the best solutions to help us build the healthcare Internet,” said Mandira Singh, director of the More Disruption Please program. In its first full year, the accelerator added five companies to its portfolio.
In April 2016, Athenahealth acquired Arsenal Health, which developed a Smart Scheduling service for healthcare providers. Arsenal Health was Athenahealth's first MDP investment, in 2014.
Athenahealth launched MDP Labs in 2017. The program invites all entrepreneurs, from startups to mature companies, to innovate in healthcare and fix what's broken.[clarification needed] Athenahealth's MDP Labs offered workspace in its downtown San Francisco office, tailored programming, dedicated mentorship, opportunities for partnerships and funding, and exposure to potential clients., though ended around 2019 with the closure of the San Francisco and other offices.
Other acquisitions and collaborations
In January 2015, Athenahealth announced the acquisition of RazorInsights, a "leader in cloud-based EHR and financial solutions" for rural, critical access, and community hospitals. The purchase extended Athenahealth's established position in the outpatient market into the 50-bed and under inpatient care environment, which makes up nearly one third of the hospital market.
In February 2015, Athenahealth announced that it had purchased webOMR, a web-based clinical applications and EHR platform developed by Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Athenahealth collaborated with BIDMC on the development of Athenahealth's acute care service offering, using Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, a 58-bed community hospital, as the alpha development site.
Athenahealth announced its acquisition of Praxify Technologies in June 2017.
In late 2018, Athenahealth's private equity firm announced it was combining Virence Health into Athenahealth. Virence was the former Clinical Business Solutions division of GE Healthcare which combined some assets from the former IDX Systems with its prior acquisitions of MedicaLogic and Millbrook.
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