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athenahealth Expands Guarantee Program to Include MU Stage 3 for Hospitals

May 17, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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athenahealth, the Watertown, Mass.-based health IT vendor, has expanded its guarantee program to include a meaningful use (MU) Stage 3 guarantee for hospitals.

The MU Stage 3 guarantee for hospitals is the newest addition to the athenahealth portfolio of programs for government-mandated quality reporting, including a meaningful use guarantee for ambulatory clients, with 96.7 percent of clients successfully attesting in 2016, and a Value Modifier (VM) program, in which 96.3 percent of athenahealth providers successfully avoided VM 2017 penalties, according to company officials. Meanwhile, last summer, the vendor announced that if clients using athenaOne services get hit with Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) payment penalties, it will cover the financial consequences for those unsuccessful practices.

Officials attested that hospitals using athenahealth’s full-suite offering of electronic health record (EHR), revenue cycle management, and patient engagement services (athenaOne), are guaranteed to perform at or above the national performance threshold set by the government, and avoid negative adjustments to their Medicare reimbursements. athenahealth will indeed cover penalties for those hospitals that are not successful subject to certain limitations.

What’s more, athenaClinicals will be certified EHR technology in the ONC Health IT Certification program for Stage 3 ahead of the reporting period in 2018. In 2018, all eligible providers will be required to participate in Stage 3 regardless of their prior participation in the program.

Since entering the hospital market in 2015, athenahealth has contracted with more than 100 community, rural, and critical access hospitals across 35 states, and according to the company’s 2016 fiscal data, clients achieved an average of over 106 percent of cash flow above baseline and cut days in accounts receivable by 16 percent.

“Every hospital or health system —no matter the size— wants a partner who can tackle the complex work of getting reimbursed,” Jonathan Bush, CEO at athenahealth, said in a statement. “As government-mandated programs reinvent themselves year after year, we’ve taken on the reporting administration so our clients can remain focused. By leveraging our national network, our payer and quality measure rules engine, and years of expertise around cracking the code of the complicated, we aim to free providers and care staff to spend more time delivering care.”

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