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athenahealth, Inc. (ATHN - Analyst Report) has released a medical record data which asserts that obesity rate in children across the U.S. has not changed meaningfully over the last three years (2010-2013). The findings are in contrast to the recent report released by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which stated that obesity has declined among low-income preschoolers across 19 states.

ATHN has collected Electronic Health ecord (EHR) data from its cloud-based network covering children across the nation, who has been treated by roughly 6,000 doctors over a span of 3 years till Jun 2013. Management asserted that obesity rates for a large, national sample of children have been reasonably flat throughout this period. This is noteworthy information for the clinical community as well as the general public, who should strive all the more, going forward, to fight obesity among kids.

In addition, athenahealth has extended its support to BOKS (Build Our Kid’s Success), an initiative by Reebok and the Reebok Foundation to promote free before-school physical activity for kids. BOKS has announced a new incentive program where public and private elementary schools can apply for a $1,000 Activation Grant to subscribe for BOKS for their students.

Last month, athenahealth entered into a strategic partnership with non-profit organization Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) to provide technology and consulting services to primary care providers (PCPs) in underserved communities. The partnership will improve performance of medical practices, while easing administrative work of PCPs with the help of cloud-based services and information technology. This will ensure greater focus on high-quality services for patients.

As part of the partnership, ATHN and PCDC will conduct seminars across the U.S. to educate PCPs on meeting their HIT needs as well as developing patient-centered models. Their joint service will help community health centers to gain access to leading technology services, practice transformation and certification, and provide technical resources to prepare reports on quality outcomes and clinical measures.

ATHN has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Although athenahealth is enjoying solid top line growth on the back of an expanded clientele, owing to the Epocrates takeover, significant operating margin pressure is hampering the company’s bottom line considerably.

While we remain on the sidelines about the company, other stocks that are performing well in the medical information systems industry include Medidata Solutions (MDSO - Snapshot Report) and Streamline Health Solutions, Inc. (STRM - Snapshot Report), both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), as well as Alere Inc. (ALR - Snapshot Report) in the medical products industry, with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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