Leading vendor of cloud-based services for physician practices
and inpatient settings,
) recently reported that it will guarantee ICD-10 compliance for
new customers who come on stream prior to Jun 30, 2014.
In other words, fresh Athenahealth customers on
athenaCommunicator, athenaCollector and athenaClinicals offerings
will be in accordance with ICD-10 (before the deadline) or else
the company will abstain from charges until the benchmarks are
achieved. Incidentally, ICD-10 is an up-to-date collection of
diagnosis codes that medical practitioners must utilize by Oct 1,
The recent annual survey conducted by Athenahealth and
Epocrates revealed that about a third of doctors were not
confident of their capability to satisfy ICD-10 requirements.
Hence, Athenahealth is taking steps to ensure ICD-10 preparedness
Athenahealth's web-based deployment provides a low-cost
scalable service while its flexible rules engine leads to higher
efficiency in claims settlement. The Software-as-a-Service
(SaaS)-based approach allows for a more flexible delivery
mechanism that helps Athenahealth win deals. The company has
traditionally enjoyed high customer satisfaction rates, which
facilitates a larger number of referrals.
Athenahealth's unique business model makes it a strong
provider of RCM services (athenaCollector) designed for small
physician practices. Its EHR product (athenaClinicals) is a key
player in ambulatory settings. We believe that sales of
athenaClinicals are likely to remain robust. In addition, the
company will harness its newer products, namely
athenaCommunicator and athenaCoordinator.
Athenahealth should benefit from its extensive athenaCollector
client base, as only a minority of its subscriber base also
utilizes athenaClinicals. Cross selling represents a real growth
opportunity in the near term. In this regard, Athenahealth has
made rapid strides in capturing the EHR business of physician
practices. However, this segment is shrinking, as hospitals
increasingly absorb physician's medical practices.
Athenahealth is geared to establish itself in the enterprise
segment. The company has recently signed on and executed several
enterprise-sized deals, which provide it with a credible and
referenceable client base. In Mar 2013, Athenahealth completed
the take over of Epocrates, a provider of point-of-care digital
solutions in the healthcare industry. The acquisition will enable
Athenahealth to increase its user network and improve its brand
Though fresh opportunities are shrinking, the replacement
market has been growing. Competition is fierce and larger
competitors may benefit from the incumbency factor. Industry
stalwarts such as
) offer long-standing seamless products which integrate inpatient
and ambulatory-care systems.
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.
) is another player in a crowded field.
We currently have a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) on the company.
However, we are more positive about other stocks such as
Merge Healthcare Incorporated
) which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and is expected to do
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