athenahealth CMO: Our Big Moonshot for 2017 is EHR ROI

Tom Sullivan | Healthcare IT News | December 19, 2016

Chief medical officer Todd Rothenhaus said the company is working on an ROI guarantee as it moves into the post-EHR era of population health and care coordination.

Todd Rothenhaus

Almost every healthcare CFO signed off on a big check to implement electronic health records software in the past six years. Not because they knew it would bring the same financial return as a shiny new MRI machine or building to house a slick surgery center, but instead because the federal government said they must.

athenahealth chief medical officer Todd Rothenhaus, MD, made that assertion in a pre-HIMSS17 interview. “Our big moonshot work here in 2017 is getting back to a true ROI,” Rothenhaus said. “We’re working to get past the idea that an EHR is a necessary expense. Instead it’s a tool for automation.”

Rothenhaus added that one part of the company’s move into the post-EHR era will include an “ROI guarantee” along the lines of the offer it laid out ahead of the ICD-10 conversion deadline. And while Rothenhaus did not reveal the exact percentages of the ROI guarantee, CEO Jonathan Bush at that time threw down the coding gauntlet: “We’ll get you to ICD-10 or you don’t have to pay for it”...