Revenue-cycle management software provider AthenaHealth's novel business approachessuch as humorous promotional videos and charging no upfront fees and instead getting paid a percentage of the claims they help customers collecthelped Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Bush win the "Industry Figure with Whom You'd Most Like to Have a Few Beers" honor in a poll conducted by the popular health IT blog, HISTalk. (Other poll categories included "Industry Figure in Whose Face You'd Most Like to Throw a Pie," which was won by Cerner Corp.'s Neal Patterson, again.)
The award then led to an auction where the highest bidder would win the privilege of tipping a few with Bush on Feb. 27 during the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in New Orleans. Proceeds from the auction are going to Project Health, a charity chosen by Bush which helps "provide sustained public health interventions" in poor urban areas.
When the auction ended Feb. 21, the winning high bid was $1,351. Although the name of the winner was not immediately posted on HISTalk, messages circulated on the Internet suggested it was open-source software advocate and electronic health-record consultant Fred Trotter, who was inviting people to send in questions for him to ask. Noting that Bush is a cousin of the president, the message included this remark: "Just a warningI have no interest in talking to him about politics, so no conspiracy questions, please."
Trotter was contacted by HITS and he confirmed that he was the winner.
"I'm going to talk to him about free and open source software, obviously, since I'm a free and open source advocate," Trotter said in a voice mail.