- Athenahealth has said that it has purchased WebOMR, Beth Israel Deaconess' cloud-based, stage 2-certified EHR. Although Beth Israel will continue to use WebOMR and retains licensing rights to the software for the next 20 years, it will make available five of its EHR developers to athenahealth as the vendor develops a commercial product based on WebOMR.
- Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but according to Beth Israel CEO John Halamka, there are no royalties involved and once athenahealth pays BIDHC for the software, the hospital will be a paid athenahealth subscriber. The deal "does not afford any personal benefits to me or any of my staff from the transaction," Halamka said.
- The combined venture will be called Athena Clinicals Enterprise. Bush told Modern Healthcare that he has an internal goal to have "something running at the end of the year."
This is a significant, if not unexpected, step on athenahealth's evolution into a mainstream inpatient EHR vendor. In January, the cloud-based provider purchased start-up RazorInsights to move into the 50-bed and under sector, a niche that accounts for one-third of all hospitals in the US. Once that software is integrated with the rest of athenahealth's software and WebOMR, athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush says that it will handle all the paperwork, patient hand-offs and insurance coordination for those hospitals.
"On a scale of one to ten, this is an 11 for us," Bush told Health Leaders Media. "Our pattern as we've gotten a little bigger has been the sort of acqui-hire process, where we acquire some customers, acquire some folks who have already spent 5 or 10 years perfecting an idea, and then build it into our larger network and sales footprint."
The 30-year-old WebOMR was one of the first hospital-built, inpatient and outpatient EHRs and the first self-built EHR system to achieve meaningful use certification, according to a joint statement.