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Leading vendor of cloud-based services for physician practices Athenahealth (ATHN - Analyst Report) recently introduced athenaClarity, which is an analytical offering for health care entities. This new product, athenaClarity will synthesize information from divergent systems, support a unified platform in the clouds for analytical purpose and suggest appropriate action at point of delivery of care.  

athenaClarity will grant a view of the effectiveness of fiscal management under various payment situations and without regard to type of practice management or clinical process. The company believes that athenaClarity will enable providers to prosper under different revenue models.

Furthermore, athenaClarity transforms clinical and claims information into one view. This capability supports population health management data flows.

athenaClarity was established with resources from Athenahealth as well as expertise gained from its acquisitions of HDS and Anodyne Health.

Athenahealth’s web-based deployment provides a low-cost scalable service while its flexible rules engine leads to higher efficiency in claims settlement. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based approach allows for a more flexible delivery mechanism that helps Athenahealth win deals. The company has traditionally enjoyed high customer satisfaction rates, which facilitates a larger number of referrals.

Athenahealth’s unique business model makes it a strong provider of RCM services (athenaCollector) designed for small physician practices. Its EHR product (athenaClinicals) is a key player in ambulatory settings.

We believe that sales of athenaClinicals are likely to remain robust. In addition, the company will harness its newer products, namely athenaCommunicator and athenaCoordinator.

Athenahealth should benefit from its extensive athenaCollector client base, as only a minority of its subscriber base also utilizes athenaClinicals. Cross selling represents a real growth opportunity in the near term. In this regard, Athenahealth has made rapid strides in capturing the EHR business of physician practices. However, this segment is shrinking, as hospitals increasingly absorb physician’s medical practices.

Athenahealth is geared to enter the enterprise segment through its strategic alliance with Microsoft (MSFT - Analyst Report) and the acquisition of Proxsys, both completed in 2011. The company has recently signed on, and executed several enterprise-sized deals, which provide it with a credible and referenceable client base. In early Jan 2013, Athenahealth signed a definitive agreement to take over Epocrates , a provider of point-of-care digital solutions in the healthcare industry. The acquisition will enable Athenahealth to increase its user network and improve its brand awareness.

Though the federal stimulus is winding down, the replacement market has been growing. Competition is fierce and larger competitors may benefit from the incumbency factor. Industry stalwarts such as Cerner Corporation (CERN - Analyst Report) offer long-standing seamless products which integrate inpatient and ambulatory-care systems.  Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (MDRX - Analyst Report) is another competitor in a crowded field. Athenahealth carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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