(ATHN) AthenaHealth Buys Maine Facility

Medical billing and records software provider AthenaHealth Inc (ATHN) has wrapped up its purchase of a new property in Northport, Maine, for $7.7 million. The facility dubbed “Point Lookout” is situated near the Massachusetts-based company’s operations center in Belfast, Maine, which employs more than 300 people. AthenaHealth plans to use the 396 acre property as its new client and employee training center.

The oceanside Northport facility includes 160 cabins which can accommodate 260 people. The property will continue to be available for public use to cover the ownership costs. The company will utilize the site as an educational, training and collaboration hub for existing and prospective clients.

In addition to support the implementation of AthenaHealth’s web-based services and facilitate client collaboration, the Point Lookout facility will be used to host healthcare providers and employees for training and development sessions as well as share ideas on critical issues affecting investments in healthcare IT.

AthenaHealth is a leading provider of web-based business services for physician practices. The company offers a federal stimulus bonus payment guarantee program that assures its solutions will assist doctors satisfy electronic health record (“EHR”) certification requirements for meeting Medicare “Meaningful Use” criteria, to receive the incentives offered by the HITECH Act.

Sustained strong adoption of the company’s athenaClinicals EHR services has contributed to a revenue growth of 28% in first-quarter fiscal 2011. Utilization of athenaClinicals by medical providers more than doubled year over year in the quarter.

However, AthenaHealth continues to face stiff competition across all of its operating platforms with established Health IT players such as Allscripts-Misys (MDRX) and Quality Systems (QSII) posing a major threat to the company. Nevertheless, the company is well placed for growth boosted by the expanded adoption of its premium solutions.

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