athenahealth knows that managing physician practices can result in a splitting headache, especially when patients are late paying bills or missing appointments. The company provides health care organizations with online software for cloud-based electronic health record (EHR), practice management, and patient communication services. Offerings include revenue cycle management (athenaCollector), medical record automation (athenaClinicals), and patient relations and referral systems (athenaCommunicator and athenaCoordinator). Its services help health care providers streamline workflow, data, and billing and collection tasks. athenahealth's programs are managed through its cloud-based athenaNet network.
athenahealth serves clients spanning more than 45 states.
About 33,000 medical providers (including more than 23,000 physicians) use the company's athenaCollector services. In 2011 athenahealth's offerings were used by its clients to post more than $7 billion in physicians' collections and to process about 60 million medical claims.
Sales and Marketing
athenahealth primarily uses a direct sales force to promote its products, though it also has third-party distribution channels in certain regions. Its sales force is divided into enterprise, group, and small group teams, while the channel partners are typically compensated for passing on sale leads.
The company serves hospitals, clinics, and medical professionals, including family practice offices and practitioners in more than 75 medical specialty fields. athenahealth employs a variety of marketing techniques to recruit new customers and increase its brand awareness, including online and print advertising campaigns; trade shows; email and phone programs; and information sessions and seminars for potential clients.
athenahealth reported a 32% increase in revenues in 2011 to some $324 million, which was attributed to the company's larger customer base and a broader array of implementation and business services provided to those customers. Net income also rose 50% to some $19 million. The company has experienced rapid growth over the last five years as demand for health care information technology services has increased.
athenahealth's strategy includes meeting the needs of specific clients (and thus garnering loyalty), integrating multiple programs into clients' comprehensive workflows, and forming new client relationships through focused marketing efforts. It also seeks to provide products that are easy to adopt into daily practice routines, while helping customers to reduce administrative costs. athenahealth is especially focused on increasing use of its newer athenaRules offering, which helps health care clients comply with the reimbursement rules of government and commercial health plans.
The company works to partner with other health service firms. For instance, it teamed up with marketing firm Medley Health to provide improved patient communication services in 2011.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2012 athenahealth acquired Healthcare Data Services, a provider of online population-based cost and quality data analysis and reporting tools that give health care organizations a way to manage the new risk-based payment models being enacted under health care reform initiatives. The purchase also extended athenahealth's cloud-based physician practice services, adding population health management capabilities to its existing EHR platform. The previous year athenahealth expanded its cloud services through the $28 million purchase of Proxsys. – less