Executives weigh in: 57% would not purchase combined athenahealth, Virence products

Hospitals and clinics aren't enticed by the plan to merge athenahealth with GE Healthcare's former value-based care business thus far, according to a Reaction Data report.

In early November, private equity firm Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital, an affiliate of hedge fund Elliott Management, agreed to buy athenahealth for an estimated $5.7 billion in cash. The firms plan to combine athenahealth with Virence Health, GE Healthcare's former value-based care business that Veritas acquired in July.

To assess industry attitudes toward the combined company, Reaction Data surveyed 155 administrators, C-level executives and clinical leaders from hospitals and clinics in mid-November. Thirty-two percent of respondents were athenahealth customers, 19 percent were Virence customers and 49 percent were customers of neither company.

Here are four survey insights:

1. The majority of respondents (60 percent) were aware of Veritas and Evergreen's plan to acquire athenahealth and merge it with Virence.

2. Less than half of respondents (44 percent) were aware that Veritas had acquired GE Healthcare's revenue cycle management, ambulatory and workforce management systems and rebranded them as Virence, despite the announcement being made earlier in the year.

3. Most customers of athenahealth and Virence said they would "wait and see" before determining whether to stick with the combined solution or trade it in for something else (51 percent), with the remaining respondents split on whether they would stay with the company or not.

4. By contrast, 57 percent of respondents who were not existing customers of athenahealth and Virence said it was unlikely they would purchase from the combined company. Thirty percent said they would "wait and see," while 13 percent said it was likely they would purchase from the company.

To download Reaction Data's report, click here.

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