(ATHN) Wisconisin Adopts Athenahealth Electronic Health Record

Medical billing and records software provider Athenahealth Inc (ATHN) has been chosen as a vendor for electronic health record (“EHR”) solutions by Wisconsin Health Information Technology Extension Center (“WHITEC”).

WHITEC is the designated regional extension center (“REC”) for Wisconsin. It is responsible for assisting health care providers across the state in the adoption and implementation of EHR systems and helping them to become the meaningful users of EHR and qualify for the federal incentive program offered by the HITECH Act.

The HITECH Act was enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“ARRA”). Physicians and hospitals that adopt EHR and use them meaningfully are eligible for incentives under the ARRA, a federal stimulus package aimed at increasing the use of EHR by medical practitioners.

The collaboration (between athenahealth and WHITEC) will allow more than 1,000 health care providers across Wisconsin to access Athenahealth’s cloud-based “athenaClinicals” EHR solution at a discounted rate.

Athenahealth offers the “Federal Stimulus Bonus Payment Guarantee Program” to ensure physicians across the U.S. (including those in Wisconsin) meet the “Meaningful Use” criteria and qualify for the incentive under the HITECH Act. Physicians have until June 30, 2012, to join the guaranty program and implement Athenahealth’s EHR solution.

Massachusetts-based Athenahealth is a leading provider of web-based business services for physician practices. 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 helped by the expanded adoption of its premium solutions.

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