athenahealth revenues up 27%: 5 key points and comments from the CEO

Last week, Watertown, Mass.-based athenahealth reported its Q1 2015 financials, which indicated both positive and negative news for the health IT company. While athenahealth's total revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2015 was up 27 percent from the same period the year before, company shares fell 7.39 percent May 1 after the company reported its Q1 results.

However, athenahealth appears to have positioned itself for continued growth over the long-term, according to a Boston Business Journal report.

On a recent investor call, athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush discussed vision and strategy to remain viable in the marketplace, according to the report.

Here are five indicators athenahealth is poised for growth.

1. The company isn't just updating and enhancing current offerings. Instead, it is introducing entirely new services. For example, in April athenahealth introduced athenaText, a secure text messaging app for Apple Watch that links to Epocrates, athenahealth's medical reference app. The new app gives physicians access to clinical information and communication channels with care teams. "This year getting secure text messaging into Epocrates, getting operational reporting into Epocrates, getting some stuff around kind of core athena activity to overlap with Epocrates we think will improve the lead traffic as they see what they could have if they stepped over the fence," Mr. Bush said on the call.

2. Though historically geared toward the outpatient environment, athenahealth is making strides into the inpatient sphere, most notably with its recent partnership with Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center announced in February. In a Forbes report, Mr. Bush said athenahealth wants to be able to service all types of care delivery.

3. Pairing interoperability and managed care is also a strong point for athenahealth, according to the Boston Business Journal report. "Our trump card that will allow an urgent care [center] to properly see across the continuum of care…is our ability to operate," Mr. Bush said on the call. "It's our ability to connect with this coordinator service and with these interfaces and the ability to manage them essentially…so we don't have the interface nightmares of the old days. That idea, it's good growth for us."

4. Instead of in-house innovation, athenahealth develops partnerships and allows outside innovators to build off its platform. By doing so, athenahealth isn't responsible for all the innovation regarding its EMR, according to Boston Business Journal. "We have a strong commitment to making sure that athena store brand is not the only way you can have an integrated experience," Mr. Bush said on the call.

5. athenahealth's solutions are all cloud-based, which means hospitals pay a monthly service fee instead of an upfront investment. This strategy, according to Boston Business Journal, is a boon to smaller healthcare organizations which don't have the capital for large investments. "[Large health systems] know that they can't put the kind of obscene amounts of capital against…managed internal IT systems in the way that the fancy pants universities can afford to do," Mr. Bush said on the call. "They're slowly coming to us, and it's exciting."

More articles on athenahealth:

What healthcare wants from startups
Health data exchanges: We're doing it wrong
Epic and athenahealth named leaders in portal adoption, NextGen Healthcare launches population health tool and Vocera launches Apple Watch app — 9 key notes on health IT companies

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