Sunday, September 23, 2007


In the war between providers and carriers, the providers now have new weaponry to unleash upon the insurgent carriers. Operation Desert Storm gave us smart bombs capable of dropping down a smokestack or slipping in through the front door with deadly accuracy to destroy the enemy.

Now Athenahealth seems bent on doing likewise by developing a kind of smart EMR for physician practices.

Unlike most physician practice software, Athenahealth is different. Their web-based software is designed to help docs increase their collection rate from carrier reimbursement. A testimonial from their website reveals the following.

The practice’s collections have increased an impressive 27% since going live on athenaNet®. As for days in AR, the number has dropped more than 20 days since the practice first went live. In 2003, the days in AR were 45.6 and now that average is 25.3.

“Two years ago, the physicians here were borrowing money trying to keep the practice open. Today, the practice is transformed. Money is stable and everyone is happier,” said administrator Shari Reynolds.

Of course the AR problem could all but be eliminated if providers, particularly those in primary care, would eliminate the practice of billing carriers for routine office visits and require payment at time of service.
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