Electronic Health Records

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EHR Vendor athenahealth Expands Scope of Healthcare Services

athenahealth has announced its acquisition of Arsenal Health, an appointment scheduling company, and a partnership with Intacct, a cloud-based enterprise resource planner.

By Sara Heath

- EHR vendor athenahealth has expanded its services to provide for a wider array of healthcare practice needs.

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According to a recent press release, athenahealth has acquired Arsenal Health as a schedule optimization tool for providers. Arsenal Health helps providers predict changes in their appointment schedules, including no-shows and last-minute cancellations.

This acquisition will make Arsenal Health’s platform a native part of athenahealth’s athenaNet, providing Arsenal Health with more data with which it can gleam predictive scheduling insights. Ultimately, this should help providers better plan their clinical workflows and schedule their busy days.

athenahealth executives are enthusiastic about the acquisition due to Arsenal Health’s proven track record for improving provider workflows, and for its potential in leading the charge in machine learning and predictive analytics in healthcare.

"We are thrilled to welcome the Arsenal Health team to athenahealth as it represents numerous opportunities and proof points," said Doran Robinson, Vice President of athenaCoordinator.

"First, the scheduling service has proven it can be highly impactful to providers, helping ensure that days run smoother, more patients get seen, and more revenue flows in. Second is its potential as an additional on-ramp to the machine learning, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence space in health care.”

Arsenal Health has a long-standing history of working with athenahealth. The company was the first that the EHR vendor invested in through its “More Disruption Please” initiative, which promoted start-up healthcare technology companies. According to Robinson, Arsenal Health is an excellent example of the kinds of companies athenahealth was looking to bolster, and the success they can eventually find.

“The company is a testimonial to what we’re trying to do with our ‘More Disruption Please’ program – provide young health tech companies the opportunity to develop and scale with athenahealth’s support and resources,” Robinson noted.

Representatives from Arsenal Health believe this acquisition will help them grow even further through the help of athena’s massive data repositories.

“By joining athenahealth, we believe we can accelerate our growth while effectively testing and advancing our predictive analytics technology,” says Arsenal Health’s CEO Chris Moses.

“To date, our success lies in our ability to track client performance, learn the intricacies of how providers work, and ultimately predict their needs. We believe that with athena we can continue to improve this offering by leveraging athena’s volume of data to develop a new class of network intelligence-based services that will be well-positioned in an industry moving towards data-driven care."

athenahealth is growing in other areas, too, including in revenue cycle management. According to a separate press release, the EHR vendor has established a partnership with Intacct, a cloud-based enterprise resource planner. As a part of the agreement, athenahealth will package Intacct’s products with its revenue cycle management suite.

Intacct and athenahealth’s partnership will ideally put all of the resources hospitals and providers need all in one place. By combining athena’s revenue cycle management suite with Intacct’s enterprise resource planner, providers should be able to streamline their efforts in reporting on quality metrics, transitioning to value-based reimbursement models, and maintain hospital revenue cycle.

“Instead of forcing hospitals to rely on a suite of solutions from a single vendor that only scratch the surface of their needs, together, with athenahealth, we believe we’ve created a fully-integrated solution with a new depth of functionality for hospital financial teams,” said Scott Lumish, Intacct’s vice president of business development.

athenahealth executives say this partnership aligns with their overall goals of helping providers concentrate on clinical practice instead on administrative tasks.

“At athenahealth, we’re focused on being a trusted partner to health care organizations of all sizes, one that enables them to focus more on the practice of medicine and less on the associated business processes and administrative tasks,” said athena’s chief product officer Kyle Armbrester.

These acquisitions and partnerships represent major growth for the EHR vendor, pushing it further into the physician workflow arena, as well as into revenue cycle management.

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