Athenahealth Looks to Make Changes in Health IT Strategy, Leadership

Change is coming to one of the biggest companies in healthcare IT. Watertown, MA-based Athenahealth said today that its board and management team are reviewing its operations, strategy, and leadership in an effort to cut costs and boost profits, among other things.

The news comes on the heels of the 20-year-old company’s (NASDAQ: ATHN) quarterly earnings report for the three months ending June 30, which showed 15 percent revenue growth as compared to the same period last year. The company’s market valuation is about $5.7 billion.

In today’s announcement, Athenahealth said it has identified about $100 million in “cost-savings opportunities that will drive efficiency and targeted investment” in the company’s hospital and network services businesses. It’s unclear yet whether (or how many) layoffs will be involved; the company said it will provide more details by October.

Jonathan Bush, Athenahealth’s co-founder, CEO, and chairman, will apparently see his duties change. According to the press release, the company’s board is looking to recruit an independent chairman, as well as a new president (who will be in charge of business operations) and a new chief financial officer (former CFO Karl Stubelis stepped down last month).

Athenahealth has been in the news a lot in recent months. In May, activist investor Elliott Associates said it bought a 9.2 percent stake in the company. And in June, Athenahealth acquired an A.I.-assistant startup (who hasn’t?) called Praxify Technologies, based in Silicon Valley, for $63 million.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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