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Athenahealth offering chronic care management

Apr 24, 2023
Illustration of a pattern of stethoscopes.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In a bid to augment its remote patient monitoring capabilities, Athenahealth launched a chronic care management platform, chief product officer Paul Brient tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: RPM is new territory for the electronic health record company, which has primarily focused on revenue cycle management and helping health systems cut costs.

What's happening: "For the first time, we’re going to do clinical work with our providers,” Brient told Axios on the sidelines of HIMSS last week.

  • "Through this new initiative, we are expanding our partnership from one historically focused on helping our customers run their practices to one where we are also an extension of their care teams," he says.
  • Athenahealth, which is backed by Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman, employs CCM nurses in Florida, Georgia, and Texas, with plans to expand to every state in the United States.
  • The company also plans to expand its CCM offering to "patients with all payers and also to include remote patient monitoring services," Brient says.

The big picture: The move mirrors that of other health technology companies like RPM company Biofourmis which is currently providing medical care in 20 states.

  • The acute hospital-at-home program — which allows treatment for common acute conditions in home settings — was recently extended beyond the COVID pandemic, signaling care will be staying in the home for the near term.
  • Plus, hospital readmissions are common when patients are not being monitored remotely for risk and medication adherence.

Of note: Athenahealth is filling in gaps across the care continuum, focusing on the front-office experience as well as chronic condition management.

  • At HIMSS, Athenahealth unveiled its new patient experience offering, which offers self-check-in and a tool to measure digital patient engagement.
  • "The check-in process is really important to get digital," Brient says, noting Athenahealth's new platform helps streamline insurance crosschecking and digitize statements.

The intrigue: While Athenahealth's primary foothold is with providers, it's taking steps to penetrate the payer market.

  • With announced partnerships with Humana and UnitedHealth Group, Athenahealth is helping digitize administrative functions, like updating claims statuses and follow-ups on claims inquiries, Brient says.
  • "That’s been very popular and we’re doing that with a fairly large number of payers," he says.

The bottom line: Major players are recognizing that the health care industry is moving toward a holistic approach.

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