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Private Equity Firms Acquire Cloud-Based EHR Vendor athenahealth

As the industry continues to adopt cloud health IT, two private equity firms have announced the acquisition of cloud-based EHR vendor athenahealth.

Private equity firms Hellman & Friedman LLC and Bain Capital will acquire cloud-based EHR vendor athenahealth for $17 billion, according to reporting from Reuters.

This announcement comes as companies continue to drive the healthcare sector's shift to the cloud.

COVID-19 has driven demand for artificial intelligence and cloud-based solutions that aim to increase productivity, protect patient data, and enhance interoperability.

athenahealth’s cloud-based EHR software suite can be used to schedule patient visits, document patients' clinical records, and track and collect payments.

The purchase is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

Evergreen, hedge fund Elliott's private equity arm, and investment firm Veritas had taken athenahealth private in 2019 in a $5.7 billion transaction.

athenahealth then merged with Virence Health, a health provider that Veritas had previously acquired from General Electric Co.

While there are positives and negatives regarding both cloud-based and in-house EHR adoption, cost savings, security considerations, and data sharing benefits are a few major checkmarks that are in favor of cloud-based EHRs.

EHR implementation—and subsequent optimization or replacement projects—are an industry requirement that can be a true drain on organization finances.

The cost of implementing and maintaining a cloud-based EHR system is much cheaper than an in-house EHR system. Some cloud systems even allow users to pay a lower subscription fee that can be as low as $100 a month.

Experts say that cloud-based EHRs also allow more secure health information sharing than in-house EHR systems. EHR security gives patients a peace of mind and can prevent potential threats and breaches.

Additionally, cloud-based EHRs can aid in interoperability, as all stakeholders have access to health information through a secure, single source.

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