Microsoft and athenahealth Form Strategic Alliance to Launch Clinical Solution to Better Connect Hospitals, Physicians and Patients
Feb. 22, 2011
Alliance will deliver single view of patient activity across care delivery settings, accelerate health systems’ ability to qualify as accountable care organizations, drive pay-for-performance efforts and deliver better, more cost-effective care.

REDMOND, Wash. and WATERTOWN, Mass. — Feb. 22, 2011 — athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN), a leading provider of Web-based practice management, electronic health record (EHR), and patient communication services to medical groups, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) today announced a strategic alliance to launch an electronic health solution designed to improve the connectivity and communication between hospitals, physicians and patients. This new offering will connect athenahealth’s centrally hosted, Web-based services, athenaClinicals® and athenaCollector®, with Microsoft Amalga, an enterprise health intelligence platform.

As health systems seek to form accountable care organizations (ACOs) and qualify for pay-for-performance funds, they need to focus on quality of care and reducing costs for specific patient populations — which requires coordination beyond the walls of a single healthcare facility. By enabling the flow of data across care delivery settings, the athenahealth-Microsoft solution will enable better care coordination across outpatient and inpatient physicians and settings.

The alliance will leverage the companies’ respective strengths, specifically athenahealth’s unique approach to delivering services in the cloud and Microsoft Amalga’s powerful capabilities for collecting data from disparate IT systems and making it accessible and actionable. The athenaNet®-Amalga connector, the technology that expedites and expands information exchange between the two solutions, will enable health systems to see inpatient and ambulatory information in a single view. The aggregate data store within Amalga, which can include clinical, operational, and financial data, also enables valuable analytics across individual patient encounters and populations of patients.

“athenahealth and Microsoft share a common view on the importance of improving information sharing across the health system to address the ‘data gaps’ faced by healthcare organizations striving to deliver optimal care,” said Peter Neupert, corporate vice president, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “By connecting athenahealth and Microsoft’s complementary health IT assets, we can open new doors for health systems looking to reduce costs and improve care through the efficient, secure exchange of health information across ambulatory and inpatient settings.”

Steward Health Care System in Massachusetts and Cook Children’s Health Care System in Texas will be early adopters of the connected solution. These customers are also working with Microsoft to push data from Amalga to Microsoft HealthVault, a trusted online platform for collecting, storing and sharing personal health information, which will enable provider-patient connectivity. These projects are expected to be completed in the second half of 2011.

“We are pleased to be an alpha site for the initial athenahealth-Microsoft collaboration that has proven the value of the alliance announced today. In the coming months, athenaNet and Amalga will provide Cook Children’s with true connectivity across our multiple IT systems, furthering the promise we made to this community to improve the health of every child in our region. Our patients and physicians will have access to an information platform that not only transcends physical location but also will evolve as knowledge grows to comply with changing healthcare requirements and rules,” said Rick Merrill, president and CEO of Cook Children’s Health Care System.

“athenahealth and Microsoft are bridging the information gap and providing clinicians the ability to access patient information from anywhere, regardless of its origination. This will improve our ability to drive efficiencies, improve quality and deliver truly coordinated care,” said Steward Health Care System CEO and President Ralph de la Torre. “Their shared solution opens the door for a vendor-based solution to care coordination and management, and allows organizations to set their sights on accountable care designation, pay-for-performance programs or global payment methodology. This new solution will allow our organization to execute on new programs like our Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.”

Today both Steward Health Care and Cook Children’s are using athenahealth’s cloud-based EHR platform and Amalga. athenahealth and Microsoft are working with these healthcare systems to pilot the new connected solution for athenaNet to Amalga data flow.

“Outside of unique, advantaged organizations like Kaiser and the Cleveland Clinic, there are few examples of health systems with the connectivity to share data across the full enterprise. In most cases, the technology simply does not exist or is not cost-efficient,” said Jonathan Bush, chairman and CEO of athenahealth. “With Microsoft we have created what we believe to be a low-cost, rapidly deployable and infinitely scalable solution that gives healthcare professionals a single view of a patient’s activity — something that healthcare reform advocates have been striving to do for years. Our shared solution fittingly provides all sorts of opportunities for healthcare institutions to rise to the challenges of operating in a more complex environment than ever before, while at the same time providing the IT capabilities to deliver better, more coordinated care.”

athenahealth and Microsoft are actively engaged in other enterprise opportunities that require providers to have a single point of access into inpatient and outpatient records. The companies will jointly market their respective applications to existing and prospective clients.

About Microsoft in Health

Microsoft is committed to improving health around the world through software innovation. Over the past 13 years, Microsoft has steadily increased its investments in health with a focus on addressing the challenges of health providers, health and social services organizations, payers, consumers and life sciences companies worldwide. Microsoft closely collaborates with a broad ecosystem of partners and delivers its own powerful health solutions, such as Amalga, HealthVault, and a portfolio of identity and access management technologies acquired from Sentillion Inc. in 2010. Together, Microsoft and its industry partners are working to deliver health solutions for the way people aspire to work and live.

About athenahealth

athenahealth, Inc. is a leading provider of web-based business services for medical groups. athenahealth’s service offerings are based on proprietary web-native practice management and electronic health record (EHR) software, a continuously updated payer knowledge-base, integrated back-office service operations, and automated and live patient communication services. For more information, please visit www.athenahealth.com or call (888) 652-8200.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the benefits, features, and potential adoption of and prospective markets for the electronic health solution involving Amalga and athenahealth’s service offerings. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. In particular, the risks and uncertainties include, among other things: the risk that our service offerings will not operate in the manner that we expect, due to design flaws, security breaches, or otherwise; potential interruptions or delays in our Internet-based service offerings; our reliance upon third parties, such as computer hardware, software, data-hosting, and Internet infrastructure providers, which reliance may result in failures or disruptions in our service offerings; errors or omissions included in our payer and clinical intelligence rules engine and database; and the evolving and complex government regulatory compliance environment in which we and our clients operate. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. athenahealth undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances, or otherwise. For additional disclosure regarding these and other risks faced by athenahealth, please see the disclosure contained in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, available on the Investors section of our website at http://www.athenahealth.com and on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news.Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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