Athenahealth’s EHR has been a disruptive force in the health care IT industry, with an appealing payment structure, and new cloud-based technology.
The company is based in Boston, and headed by Jonathan Bush.
Athena will typically take over billing and collections for their clients, in addition to providing charting and other practice management features.
Their providers pay a percentage of net collections, which seems to indicate that athena has skin in the game. The more the practice makes, the more the vendor makes.
The unique EHR model allows athena to manage systems efficiently, when one upgrade updates all customers. It can also mean that providers get less flexibility, and any custom requests can be slow to be completed.
Athena’s largest disadvantage may be that they are a specialized product in a consolidating marketplace. As an ambulatory-only solution, they have been replaced in some clients by Epic or Cerner’s all-inclusive products. In response, athena does have an inpatient solution in development.