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Reporter’s notebook: J.P. Morgan’s 2021 health conference

TARA BANNOW

JESSICA KIM COHEN

NONA TEPPER 

The Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference kicked off Monday virtually. Reporters Tara Bannow, Jessica Kim Cohen and Nona Tepper will provide updates and daily observations here throughout the conference. You can also find additional stories on ModernHealthcare.com or Twitter.

Tuesday, Jan. 12

Athenahealth to bring payer data into EHR with Humana, UnitedHealthcare partnerships

Athenahealth on Tuesday announced a multi-year agreement with Humana to add the health insurer’s member data into Athenahealth’s electronic health record system.

Adding health plan data to patients’ medical records will help healthcare providers with care management, such as identifying gaps in care and easing electronic prior authorization, according to the companies. They plan to build automatic alerts for annual appointments and tools that automatically remind users to schedule blood pressure screenings and eye exams for diabetes patients.

The companies didn’t disclose financial details of the agreement.

Athenahealth is also working with UnitedHealthcare to bring tools related to cost estimates, referral management and pre-visit preparation into the EHR.

“We’re very happy about these relationships with these two very influential payers,” said Athenahealth CEO Bob Segert at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. “We expect to see that continue to extend to other payers as we continue to roll out these capabilities.”

Epic Systems Corp., a competitor to Athenahealth, last year signed a contract with Health Care Service Corp. for a data platform that links the health insurer’s health plans with provider organizations, with similar goals of improving care management and prior authorization.

Athenahealth, which went private in 2019 after an acquisition by two private-equity firms, on Tuesday also shared a snapshot of its 2020 earnings results.

Athenahealth expects to earn nearly $1.9 billion in operating revenue for 2020, up from $1.8 billion in 2019 and $1.7 billion in 2018. The company expects to see $404 million in bookings for 2020, up from $358 million in 2019 and $335 million in 2018.

In 2017, the last full year Athenahealth reported earnings results as a public company, it posted $1.2 billion in revenue, up from $1.1 billion in 2016.

Bookings were $293 million for the 2017 year, up from $348 million the year prior.

“We expect operating revenue to grow at double digits on an as-reported basis in ‘21,” Segert said, with bookings expected to be in the range of $460 million to $480 million in 2021. “Athenahealth is a transformed business. We have a focused growth strategy.”

Private-equity firm Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital, an affiliate of hedge fund Elliott Management, purchased Athenahealth in 2019 for $5.7 billion—closing out a tumultuous, monthslong question over whether Athenahealth would sell itself. The firms combined the company with Virence Health, a value-based care business Veritas acquired from GE Healthcare in 2018.

Read more here.

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