Athenahealth recovers after a less-than-stellar first quarter
Following a disappointing first quarter, Athenahealth reported more satisfying financial results for the second quarter of the year, with a 15% uptick in revenue.
"We believe we are at a key inflection point in our company's history," the cloud-based services company reported in an earnings statement Thursday. "We're demonstrating the power of our co-source model by simplifying and reducing client work."
In the second quarter of the year, Athenahealth had $12.2 million in operating income, compared to $1.3 million in operating loss in the first quarter.
Growth came from both the number of Athenahealth clients—up by 1,358 in the second quarter—and the number of services those clients use, driving revenue of $301.1 million in the last three months. Those clients, which now total about 100,000, increasingly include those outside of the ambulatory market, the company's traditional market.
Though its products already help clients smooth workflows, with the company monitoring some billing on clients' behalf, there's room for improvement, Athenahealth said. Resolving claim holds, for instance, still takes too many clicks on too many screens. So the company is developing new workflows that it says will cut down on the number of steps involved. These workflows aren't broadly available yet, but customers that have tested them have been satisfied, Athenahealth said.
The company is also upgrading its systems for new meaningful use requirements and said it expects its athenaOne for Hospitals and Health Systems EHR will be certified for stage 3 in the ONC Health IT Certification program before the reporting period begins in 2018. Nearly all Athenahealth hospital clients successfully met meaningful use requirements in 2016.
In the second quarter, Athenahealth also broadened its Guarantee Program, through which the company now offers a service fee credit to any hospital that uses its hospital EHR system and receives a downward payment adjustment to its Medicare Part A fee schedule. Because of how its single-instance systems are deployed via the cloud, rather than on client servers, the company is confident in its ability to stay up to date with federal requirements and to push updates to clients. "Our results-oriented approach has yielded industry-leading performance in both the Meaningful Use and Physician Quality Reporting System programs," the company said.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.