Healthcare IT News: athenahealth shoots for EHR ROI in 2017
- Starting next year, athenahealth will offer an “ROI guarantee” on purchases of its EHR systems, CMO Todd Rothenhaus told Healthcare IT News in an interview leading up to HIMSS17.
- Rothenhaus said healthcare is moving into a post-EHR era of coordinated care and population health and needs to think of EHR investments as workplace-enhancing tools rather than a government mandate.
- The EHR vendor has offered guarantees before. When ICD-10 was looming, CEO Jonathan Bush said clients wouldn’t be charged if the company’s software didn’t get them quickly up to speed on the revised codes.
The Affordable Care Act requires providers to implement EHR systems, and providers have been working for the past six years to fulfill that mandate — without knowing whether or when they’d see a return on investment.
“Our big moonshot work here in 2017 is getting back to a true ROI,” Rothenhaus told Healthcare IT News. “We’re working to get past the idea that an EHR is a necessary expense. Instead it’s a tool for automation.”
He didn’t reveal any details about the guarantee.
athenahealth is also developing cloud-based services that leverage its technologies to identify gaps in care and connect patients with tests and therapies, among other things, Rothenhaus said.
Jonathan Bush, athenahealth's president and CEO, told Healthcare Dive this fall the company's "primary responsibility to our clients is to help them operate better." He added, "We’re just now being able to do this focused by specialty. For example, we’ve got five specialties where we know and track client performance against meaningful, clinical sentinels that equate with high performance. That’s just now beginning and that’s where we’ll add to the regular oversight we do overall for operations and get into sentinel metrics for clinical decisions."
Meanwhile, the company’s focus will be a shift to the network — athenahealth customers, accountable care organizations and integrated delivery systems and others tangentially connected to its EHR platform — as opposed to an individual hospital or practice group, he said.
Bush told Healthcare Dive his "3.0" in healthcare is thinking of athenaNet as an electronic health network stating, "That pivoting of athenaNet around patient centricity is something that our clients haven’t wanted us to do until now. But in an era of population health where they need market share in order to survive, we have their buy-in."
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