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Ideas, insight, and analysis to help physicians, medical groups and health systems stay informed and profitable in today's challenging health care environment.

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All Things EMR | Medical Billing & Payers | Patient Engagement | User Conference

Finding Technology That Supports My Orthopedic Practice Today and Tomorrow


Deanna Boyette, MDBecoming a physician is a long journey of perseverance, one we are all familiar with. With that long journey well behind me, I’m engaged in another, somewhat unexpected set of challenges: I’m here in my solo orthopedic practice figuring out how to make myself a more efficient physician while meeting government mandates, running a cost-efficient practice, and trying to maintain a balance between family life and career.

Just before I opened my orthopedics office in 2010, I knew one thing for certain: I wanted to work digitally. And not just any quick technology fix would do. I knew I needed … Read more


Analytics & Research

No Lack of Attention to ADHD


Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) continues to draw public attention, with articles appearing in the November New England Journal of Medicine and most recently in the New York Times. The Times article emphasized the rising use of ADHD drugs by both adults and children in 2012, based on a recent report issued by Express Scripts about ADHD medication trends. The Express Scripts study showed a steady growth in the number of children taking ADHD medication through 2012. Recently, athenaResearch examined diagnostic data coming in from physicians on the athenahealth network to see whether 2013 data indicate any slackening of … Read more


Analytics & Research

ACAView: Measuring the Impact of Health Care Reform on Day-to-Day Physician Practice


Iyue Sung, Director of Core AnalyticsWith this post, we are pleased to introduce ACAView, a joint initiative between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and athenahealth. 2014 marks the launch of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) most important coverage expansion provisions, designed to dramatically reduce the number of uninsured Americans. Between now and the end of 2016, millions of individuals are expected to sign up for subsidized insurance coverage through newly established health care exchanges, or marketplaces. Other tracking initiatives are closely monitoring the number of individuals that sign up for this coverage as well as those that take advantage of expanding Medicaid coverage in … Read more


Care Coordination | Health Information Exchange | Healthcare Policy & Reform

A Walk-Back, and Setback, for Sustainable HIE


Here at athenahealth, we’ve always held the view that the exchange of information is a two-way street and that the cost of information exchange should be shouldered by both sides.

This approach is common in many other industries — so common we take it for granted as the norm. For example, in the ATM industry, you don’t pay an ATM fee for in-network ATMs, but you pay a fee for out-of-network ATMs. In the long distance industry, receivers pay for 1-800 long distance calls. Allowing for either side to pay the communications fee has fueled widespread adoption of these basic … Read more


Healthcare Policy & Reform | ICD-10

ICD-10 Dismay


Way back, when we were still struggling to run a successful birthing practice called Athena Women’s Health, I shared a dank, cramped house in San Diego with Jonathan Bush, my brother Todd, and the other athenahealth co-founders. I slept on a mattress on the floor with a 30-pound tower computer as a headboard and for months would wake up every day, roll out of bed, and write code. Line by line, I built rules around medical billing claims so providers could get paid faster and more accurately for delivering care. Down the road at the clinic, the providers were consumed … Read more


Rocket Fuel