Web-based healthcare information technology services provider Athenahealth posted higher first-quarter revenue compared with the first quarter of 2014. Higher expenses, however, led to higher net losses as well.
Revenue increased 27%, up by $43.3 million to $206.4 million in the quarter ended March 31, compared with the same period in 2014. The improvement was driven by signing up new physicians to the company's services, including 1,639 for its revenue-cycle-management offering; 985 for its electronic health-record service, and 1,415 for its communication services, the company reported.
But total expenses for the first quarter of 2015 rose by nearly $44.1 million, to $218.2 million. As a result, first-quarter net losses increased 10% to $8.8 million, a 10% change from $8 million.
In a call with analysts, Athenahealth executives deflected questions about the short-term financial implications of the company's recent moves to buy technology and expertise in the hospital, inpatient EHR market with the acquisitions of RazorInsights and the intellectual property of the webOMR from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.
“We don't intend to talk specifically about the number of individual Razor deals or that sort of thing,” said Kristi Ann Matus, chief financial and administrative officer. “We really bought RazorInsights as a strategic asset along with webOMR to build out our full inpatient solution over time.”
CEO Jonathan Bush suggested the company is working methodically but aggressively on that strategy.
“We are pregnant with a whole bunch of baby hospitals that we just, that we adopted I should say, through the Razor marriage,” Bush said. “And they are in all manner of condition, and we want to master survival and prosperity at low fixed cost for the smaller-end, critical-access hospitals. And we are positioned with a war chest of people and effort to go out and take on work for them, so that we can make it better. And we don't know what that will be yet, but we want that team—the two teams that are on that mission—to feel nothing, but green lights from us.”