Athenahealth: Pricing, Reviews, and Alternatives

Athenahealth: Pricing, Reviews, and Alternatives

Athenahealth is an EHR software provider that offers a range of solutions, including Electronic Health Records, Medical Billing, Patient Engagement, Care Coordination, and more. They cater to various organizations such as Specialty Practices, OBGYN, Orthopedics, and FQHC, among others. In this article, we'll share the essential facts you need to know about Athenahealth, helping you understand why it might be the perfect EHR choice for you.

How much does Athenahealth cost?

Pricing information for Athenahealth isn't currently available on their website. To get specific pricing details, it's best to contact Athenahealth directly. However, based on industry knowledge, here's a rough estimate of what it might cost for different healthcare settings and sizes:


  • Small Hospitals (up to 100 beds): Estimated Cost: $800,000 - $1.5 million initial setup, plus $250,000 - $500,000 annually for maintenance and support.
  • Medium Hospitals (100 - 500 beds): Estimated Cost: $1.5 - $6 million initial setup, plus $500,000 - $900,000 annually.
  • Large Hospitals (over 500 beds): Estimated Cost: $6 - $18 million initial setup, plus $900,000 - $1.8 million annually.

Specialty Groups and Clinics

  • Small Clinics (1-10 providers): Estimated Cost: $85,000 - $300,000 initial setup, plus $40,000 - $120,000 annually.
  • Medium Specialty Groups (10-50 providers): Estimated Cost: $300,000 - $900,000 initial setup, plus $120,000 - $350,000 annually.
  • Large Specialty Groups (over 50 providers): Estimated Cost: $900,000 - $2.5 million initial setup, plus $350,000 - $700,000 annually.

Primary Care Practices

  • Small Practices (1-3 providers): Estimated Cost: $40,000 - $150,000 initial setup, plus $20,000 - $75,000 annually.
  • Medium Practices (4-10 providers): Estimated Cost: $150,000 - $400,000 initial setup, plus $75,000 - $150,000 annually.
  • Large Practices (over 10 providers): Estimated Cost: $400,000 - $1 million initial setup, plus $150,000 - $300,000 annually.

Note that these estimates may vary depending on customization, contract terms, volume discounts, ongoing costs, and financial assistance availability.

Benefits and differentiators Athenahealth

While Epic has many applications, three key areas are especially noteworthy:

  • All-in-One Cloud-Based Suite: Athenahealth's athenaOne integrates an EHR system, practice management, and care coordination in a single cloud-based suite, simplifying healthcare delivery.
  • Exceptional Interoperability Capabilities: Known for its interoperability, Athenahealth enables seamless data exchange with third-party systems, supporting standard protocols like HL7 and FHIR.
  • Clinical Decision-Making and Patient Engagement Support: Beyond record-keeping, Athenahealth offers real-time patient data access for informed decision-making and a patient portal for secure communication and scheduling.

Scenarios where Athenahealth is a good choice

Athenahealth's EMR shines in various situations. It's especially suitable for small to medium-sized practices that require a user-friendly, cloud-based solution with minimal upfront costs and maintenance. For specialty practices, such as OBGYN and Orthopedics, Athenahealth's tailored workflows and features cater to their unique needs, streamlining operations. Additionally, healthcare organizations that prioritize patient engagement and care coordination will find Athenahealth's patient portal and communication tools invaluable for enhancing the patient experience.

Scenarios where Athenahealth may not be a good choice

For large hospitals with complex workflows and a need for extensive customization, Athenahealth's EMR might not be the best fit. These organizations often require a more robust and flexible system that can handle the intricacies of their operations, which may be beyond the scope of Athenahealth's offerings. Additionally, healthcare organizations that prioritize advanced analytics and research capabilities might find Athenahealth's EMR lacking in comparison to competitors with more comprehensive data analysis tools. Lastly, organizations that require a high level of integration with other software systems may encounter limitations with Athenahealth's EMR, as it may not offer the same level of interoperability as some other EMR systems on the market.

While Athenahealth excels in providing user-friendly, cloud-based solutions for small to medium-sized practices, its features and capabilities may not be sufficient for larger organizations with more complex needs. In these scenarios, the limitations of Athenahealth's EMR become more apparent, making it a less ideal choice for such organizations.

Reviews of Athenahealth

Users on G2 have given Athenahealth an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5. Below, we've summarized some of their key pros and cons of the platform.

Positives in Athenahealth's Reviews

  • Streamlined Clinical Workflows: Users highlight the efficiency gains in clinical operations due to Athenahealth's streamlined processes.
  • Robust Patient Communication: The platform's tools for patient communication, particularly the ease of messaging and information access, receive high marks.
  • Effective Data Management: There's an appreciation for the EMR's capability to manage and organize patient data effectively, contributing to better patient care.

Negatives in Athenahealth's Reviews

  • Initial Complexity: New users mention the complexity of the system as a hurdle in the early stages of adoption.
  • Investment in Training: Some reviews point to the necessity of investing in training to fully utilize all the features Athenahealth offers.
  • Customization Limits: A few users note that while the system is robust, there are areas where customization options are not as extensive as they would prefer.

Alternatives to Athenahealth

For scenarios where Athenahealth may not be the best fit, we've compiled a list of alternative EMR systems that cater to different needs and requirements:

Large hospitals with complex workflows and extensive customization needs:

  • Cerner: Cerner offers comprehensive clinical and financial solutions, streamlining workflows and providing advanced analytics for data-driven decision-making.
  • Meditech: Meditech provides a fully integrated suite of EHR solutions, including tools for clinical documentation, medication management, and laboratory integration, along with interoperability features.

Organizations prioritizing advanced analytics and research capabilities:

  • Epic: Epic's Cosmos database collects de-identified patient data from across all Epic systems, enabling large-scale data analysis and research for improved patient outcomes and healthcare insights.
  • Allscripts: Allscripts offers a wide range of solutions, including electronic prescribing, clinical decision support, and patient engagement tools, as well as population health management capabilities.

Organizations requiring high levels of integration with other software systems:

  • Greenway Health: Greenway Health provides comprehensive solutions for ambulatory practices, focusing on interoperability and offering features such as customizable templates, e-prescribing, and patient portal access.
  • DrChrono: DrChrono focuses on mobile and iPad-based solutions, integrating with various third-party applications and offering features like customizable templates, e-prescribing, and billing.

How you can use Tennr to get the most out of your EMR.

At Tennr, we understand the challenges that come with using an EMR like Athenahealth. That's where we step in. While we're not an EMR ourselves, we excel at integrating with them to automate those repetitive tasks that bog down your team and business. Our goal is to streamline your processes, making things run more smoothly so you can focus on what truly matters - patient care.

Opportunities for automating EMR tasks.

Here are a couple of places in Athenahealth where bringing in Tennr could really help. Check out Tennr and sign up today to explore how we can help you!

Inbound Referrals:

We can streamline how you handle incoming referrals in Athenahealth. Tennr uses AI to pull patient details and then RPA (robotic process automation) to set up new patient profiles and book appointments. This not only saves time but also cuts down on those tedious data entry mistakes. Here's a quick demo of how we do this at Tennr! 👇🏾

Explanation of Benefits (EOB) Processing:

We also simplify the process of managing incoming EOB (Explanation of Benefits) documents in Athenahealth. Tennr efficiently identifies essential information, such as claim numbers and CPT codes, and seamlessly integrates these payments into the EMR. This enables quicker processing and reduces concerns about inaccuracies in payment details.

Patient scheduling:

Small to mid-sized healthcare providers often struggle with managing unstructured external referrals, while larger ones grapple with patient scheduling inefficiencies, especially for follow-up procedures. Tennr addresses this by automating the process using patient demographics. For instance, it sends casual messages with booking links to younger patients and morning calls to older ones, effectively reducing friction and enhancing patient engagement for streamlined scheduling.