When Dr. Eric Freeman founded Old Dominion Pediatrics in 2012, he partnered with athenahealth from the get-go. Unlike the static software he worked with before, he knew athenahealth’s adaptable services would help him provide excellent care to families in urban Richmond.
athenaOne, a cloud-based suite of EHR, revenue cycle management, and patient engagement services, has kept his practice profitable and efficient. “athenahealth is the premier technology partner for independent pediatric practices,” said Freeman. “I’ve been successful because athenahealth’s solutions are extremely cost-effective and user friendly.”
Many parents at his practice find it difficult to reach out during the workday. “The portal is an outstanding vehicle for families to engage with us at their convenience,” said Freeman. The practice also conducts outreach with tailored messaging that is sent in their preferred language. “About 55 percent of our patients speak Spanish,” he said. “It’s easy to send messages in their preferred language and format.”
When Old Dominion Pediatrics launched athenaTelehealth during the pandemic, families were pleased. In fact, about 40 percent of patient visits continue to be virtual. “Having telemedicine capabilities that integrate with our EHR and billing platform improves continuity and access to care, especially for pediatric mental health,” said Freeman, who added that demand for those services has greatly increased since the pandemic began.
Exceptional efficiency and financial health
Freeman reports that he has become significantly more efficient with the addition of Voice Assistant, which allows providers to dictate encounters and complete routine tasks with voice commands. “Before, I closed about 55 percent of charts on the same day. Now I close 75 percent before leaving the office,” he said. More efficient documentation has reduced wait times in the office and created more time for face-to-face care. Best of all, Freeman says he has more free personal time.
athenaOne has helped the practice capture more revenue in less time, keeping cash flow steady. Freeman attributes this to the Billing Rules Engine that scrubs claims before they are submitted as well as features such as automated insurance verification. athenahealth’s comprehensive back-office services relieve front desk staff from handling time-consuming administrative tasks.
To further free up staff and bring in more revenue, the practice added athenahealth’s Enhanced Claims Resolution, a service that works claims and denials to completion. “We now have a first-pass pay rate of about 95 percent,” said Freeman. “My staff don’t have to chase denials on the phone. They can focus on more critical aspects of office workflow.”
Freeman explained that athenahealth shares his passion for excellence. “athenahealth values optimization of my revenue as much as I do,” he said. “They give me the tools and support to lift up the hood of the practice and see where we can do better. I don't know any other EHR vendor that does that. athenahealth’s partnership will sustain my practice into the future.”
It’s very difficult to run a small practice. I’ve been successful because athenahealth’s solutions are extremely cost-effective and user friendly.
— Dr. Eric Freeman, President and Physician-in-Chief, Old Dominion Pediatrics