Watertown, Massachusetts-based athenahealth announced on Wednesday that its Centricity Business will be rebranded as athenaIDX.
WHY IT MATTERS
The technology, available as an on-premise or cloud-based revenue cycle management product, is aimed at helping hospitals, health systems, large practices and billing services better align their financial strategies for the era of value-based reimbursement.
Its new name comes two years after athenahealth was acquired for $5.7 billion by Veritas Capital and merged with Veritas-owned Virence Health, which itself was renamed from the value-based care group of GE Healthcare when it was acquired by Veritas.
Centricity, of course, was a core product of GE Healthcare. But its roots are much deeper, having been first developed as an RCM product by Burlington, Vermont-based IDX Systems Corporation (which was acquired for $1.2 billion by GE in 2006) more than half a century ago.
The new athenaIDX name is a nod to that history, and aligns the post-acquisition Virence and athenahealth technologies into a unified revenue cycle portfolio – one that’s already in use at health systems such as Dignity Health, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Sharp HealthCare, as well as longtime provider-customers, such as Baystate Medical Practices.
Athenahealth also announced two related rebrandings: athenaEDI (formerly Centricity EDI Services), which helps integrate workflows for eligibility, claims and remittance data into athenaIDX, and athenaIDX for Group Management (formerly Centricity Group Management).
THE LARGER TREND
The rebranding, of course, is just the most recent in a long series of changes for athenahealth since it first attracted the attention of activist investor Elliott Management in 2017.
After the Veritas acquisition and Virence merger were completed in 2019, athenahealth CEO Bob Segert spoke with Healthcare IT News about the company’s go-forward strategy after a bumpy few years.
Specifically, he spoke of the integration of legacy Centricity technology into athenahealth’s own product lines.
“I really do think there is a case here where one plus one is worth more than two,” said Segert. “Athenahealth is a historically SaaS-based platform, extremely focused on front-door medicine: the internist, the primary care physician, OB/Gyn, pediatricians – and then moving more and more toward specialty-based workflows and specialty practice areas. All on a very dynamic SaaS platform.”
Contrast that, he said, to Centricity, “which focused on some of the larger multispecialty practices, and had a lot more focus on the hospital and acute care market, particularly with regard to revenue cycle management, with a software platform that was on-prem software or hosted.”
Add athenahealth’s existing strengths to “the central billing office capabilities that exist within the Centricity business RCM platform, particularly around the hospital space, and you have a pretty dynamic portfolio,” said Segert.
ON THE RECORD
“athenaIDX has been helping customers accelerate revenue reimbursement and improve profitability for more than 50 years,” said Paul Brient, chief product officer of athenahealth, of the newly-renamed Centricity product, noting that its automated workflows “proactively push issues to revenue cycle staff [and] enable them to shift efforts from researching routine problems to solving complex challenges.
“This translates into lower cost-to-collect, faster speed-to-cash and the response times needed to facilitate effective, efficient billing workflows,” said Brient. “Aligning the product portfolios enables us to effectively execute on our road map and support our vision to create a thriving ecosystem that delivers accessible, high-quality and sustainable healthcare for all.”
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