athenahealth has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Healthcare Data Services LLC (HDS), a web-based solutions provider and expert in health care data analysis and population health management for payers and providers. It is anticipated that the transaction will close in October 2012.
This acquisition is expected to expand athenahealth’s cloud-based services portfolio to include population-based cost and quality data analysis and reporting capabilities. This expantion should strengthen athenahealth’s ability to support health care organizations to navigate the increasing number of risk-based payment models, and align care coordination with patient population needs.
“Value-based payment models are fundamentally changing the way patient care is coordinated, delivered, and reimbursed,” said Jonathan Bush, CEO and chairman of athenahealth. “With HDS, we can help health care organizations to thrive in the face of change–to drive down costs through smart, high quality care coordination and to understand the totality of services being provided. This acquisition supports our existing efforts to create an information backbone that makes health care work as it should.”
New payment models offered by the U.S. government and commercial health plans aim to create a reimbursement system that links care reimbursement to the quality of care delivered and, ultimately, to reduce overall health care expenses for populations of patients. These risk-based contracts come in a variety of models, including pay-for-performance (P4P) incentives, bundled payments, shared savings, and global capitation; each requires improved insight into patient population data so that health care organizations can gauge and manage patient needs while simultaneously tracking and adjusting their own performance against risk-based reimbursement contracts.
“By combining HDS with athenahealth, we expect to create a comprehensive, easy-to-access platform for health care organizations to take on and succeed in the face of payment reform and the shift to accountable care,” said Jonathan Porter, co-founder of HDS. “The massive changes going on in health care reimbursement create challenges, but more so create opportunities. Together with athenahealth, we would be able to bridge the gap between providers, payers, and patients by providing ready-to-use population health management capabilities as part of EHR workflows that support restructured payment models and ensure the delivery of appropriate and necessary care to patients.”
- Health Management Associates Selects athenahealth for Strategic Partnership (emrdailynews.com)