Best foot forward

Case Study | Princeton Foot and Ankle Associates PC | New Jersey
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    3-physician practice

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    2 locations in central New Jersey


  • Lack of transparency into billing reporting
  • Challenges tracking quality reporting measures
  • No remote access to EHR
  • Time-consuming prior authorizations and appointment management


  • athenaOne®
  • athenaOne® Authorization Management


  • 94.5% collection yield
  • 90.5% patient payment yield
  • 93% same-day encounter close rate
  • Cloud-based EHR allows access from anywhere
  • Able to efficiently capture quality measures
  • Pivoted administrative staff to higher-value work

Prior to partnering with athenahealth, Princeton Foot and Ankle Associates worked with an EMR and outsourced billing solution that made it difficult to understand practice revenue and easily meet quality measures. In 2018, the independent podiatry practice decided to implement athenaOne, a cloud-based suite of EHR, revenue cycle management, and patient engagement services.

For owners and physicians Dr. Josh Ottenheimer, Dr. Peter Panagakos, and Dr. Sachin Patel, athenaOne offered the right blend of physician and administrative efficiency, services to lessen the burden on practice staff, and capabilities to personalize outreach to patients — the majority of whom are baby boomers or older. The three physicians agreed that athenaOne organized everything perfectly for them on a single platform.

Princeton Foot and Ankle has realized significant improvements since transitioning to athenaOne. With at-a-glance billing reporting, they can make real-time adjustments and keep revenue flowing. “Previously, we had no clue what was going on with our billing,” said Dr. Ottenheimer. “Now we check our numbers daily.” The practice has a collection yield of almost 95 percent and patient payment yield of more than 90 percent.

They also have more control over patient volume, which is vital to a small practice. Automated appointment reminders keep no-shows to a minimum and save front desk staff up to two hours every day. After the first wave of the pandemic, Princeton used athenaCommunicator to contact patients who had missed care and encouraged them to come in for a visit. “Right after the campaign, which we customized to patients based on their preference for calls or emails, we saw a big jump in appointments,” said Dr. Ottenheimer.

The practice also uses athenaOne® Authorization Management to streamline their prior authorization process. Instead of relying on staff to manually track down payer information, the service automatically submits documentation, follows up on status, and manages the authorization to completion. Dr. Ottenheimer said it saves hours of staff time on the phone with payers.

The practice has also been successful in meeting quality measures. athenaOne’s EHR surfaces the right measures so physicians can easily capture them, and is continually updated. “athenahealth walked us through the quality measures that were appropriate for us,” said Dr. Ottenheimer. “They check our performance periodically to make sure we’re on the right path.”

In fact, according to Dr. Ottenheimer, Dr. Panagakos, and Dr. Patel, athenahealth’s hands-on support has gone above and beyond expectations. They look forward to quarterly meetings with their customer success manager to review performance, but can also reach out at any time with questions. “Our CSM uses clear graphics to show us where we are doing well and how to improve.”

Dr. Ottenheimer says he and his fellow physicians will be happy with athenahealth long term. “They have made things so easy for us. We have more time to focus on patients,” he said. “I would 100 percent recommend athenaOne to other podiatry practices.”

Dr. Josh Ottenheimer, physician and owner of Princeton Foot and Ankle Associates PC

These results reflect the experience of one particular organization and are not necessarily what every athenahealth customer should expect.