athenaClinicals helps doctors deliver high quality care by organizing the moment of care for maximum clinical productivity, performing administrative and quality services on a doctors behalf to ensure full payment, and tracking all physician orders to close the loop on results and follow-up care. Doctors benefit from continuous embedded access to the best practices of the nations largest clinical network, the most up-to-date and extensive quality rules and industry guidelines.
Our practice has been using Athena for our practice management software for over 10 years and we implemented the Athenaclinicals EMR in 09/2012.
Athenaclinicals has made Meaningful Use a manageable task by providing us with resources such as a checklist, status list and recommendations to meet Meaningful Use. Also they stay informed about the latest regulations and changes so that we can focus more on treating our patients and managing our practice.
The billing functionality has definitely helped improve our A/R as well as assist us in tracking encounters to ensure we bill everything our providers do.
Their credentialing functionality has also been helpful in assisting with enrollment and credentialing verification.
The EMR and charting functionality is very comparable to other available software.
The biggest issue we have run into in the past year is with regards to customer service. Athena has changed the way they handle issues that cannot be resolved by your initial CSC call. The only way to "speak to" or contact the people working on your issue is via Athena email. Unfortunately, this leads to miscommunication, confusion, frustration and delays in resolution.
Completing certain tasks are more cumbersome than necessary, at least based on the opinions of our providers and staff. They feel they have to click more "buttons" and complete more "steps" to get to their end result eg. check-in, processing documents, charting.
Athena has so many different features and functionality that it is difficult to make sure you are utilizing the software to it's fullest capabilities for your practice and specialty.
Athena has a great and robust reporting module especially helpful for practices attesting for meaningful use and PCMH, the problem with this is that it is difficult to do on your own and requires a Customer service ticket which takes a long time to get answered.
The charting is easy once you get your templates setup. If you do not do this on the front end (during implementation) getting help to do later is impossible and you will need help as it is not very intuitive. Many templates were lost during one of their upgrades without warning so it has been difficult to rebuild them. We have grown and added locations while on Athena and because they are your primary biller if they do not verify all of the credentialing that you send them you cannot bill. This was problematic because you cannot directly talk to the persons doing this there is always a go-between with Athena.
I love the EPCS for patients requiring a schedule, as a pediatrician I have quite a few ADHD pts and nice not to worry about assessing where prescriptions really lost! No need for paper. However, with one of their upgrades, I can no longer save medications so must write sig and quantity for every medication each time which is time-consuming.
Lastly, the promised billing has failed our practice. The workflow was to be we would not need a biller and get increased revenue with clean claims. We see a large Medicaid population and were not told that they had virtually no experience with that and even going to them with specifics as to the problem it would still take upwards a month to fix. Not only have we not gotten rid of our biller but increased his time as many Medicaid claims he submits thru the portal yet Athena charges us for this. The account managers are unavailable in meetings vacations or no longer with the company.
Pros: Reporting, Easy charting once template is created, EPCS, Integration of charges to the superbill
Cons: Customer support, E-prescribing, Not reasonable expectation to not need a biller, Overpriced, not a good fit if you are a practice that adds services, providers, or locations, must use their bank to receive payments and then it takes 1-2 days to get transferred to your business account
Our office went live with Athena Communicator and Collector in September of 2013. We had previously used 2 other billers and schedulers/management systems at that point and I have to say we are all glad that we chose Athena. The customer service department and our implementation team were beyond helpful. We appreciate that Athena is ever changing, and always looking to improve the ease of business and quality of care. As we know, no product is ever perfect, but Athena comes pretty darn close. The team at Athena actively listens to concerns and suggestions from their customers. I have dealt with many companies who "understand your struggle" but can't do anything about it or "are very sorry, but that's just the way it is". Athena, is NOT that type of company. They have interactive message boards that you can talk to other practices having issues and also Athena team members, so together a plan can be created to alleviate the problems you are having. Not to say EVERYTHING can be as perfect as you want it, but there have been enough changes in Athena where the direct action was taken from a concern or complaint that makes us as a customer feels valued and understood. A real testament to Athena should be that we looked at their Clinicals product in 2013, but our provider didn't see enough of what he was looking for to change from our current EMR to Athena Clinicals at that time. However, at the end of 2016 we revisited the idea and did some more demos, the Clinical product has changed so much (in a good way) that we have chosen to switch and are looking at implementation in March of 2017. All of our office staff and our providers feel that Athena is a solid product that helps us streamline our workflows and provide better patient care. We are very excited to embark on our next Athena journey and couldn't be happier with the products and support.
Ease of Use, Rarely any system downtimes or system issues, Receptive customer service and account managers, Transparency you can see everything that has happened and who did it
This product is the most costly that we have used, however, we have definitely made more in revenue by using Athena than not.
My business partner and I have had extensive experience with AthenaNet and EMRs, in general within a spread of different medical practices. AthenaNet is similar to any other EMR in that it works really well for some practices and not as well in others.
The billing component is extremely beneficial though, I have found that some of my offices have thought that is does ALL billing. (Again, I think it's a lack of understanding and initial training.)
The access to helpline is great. Having a live person to talk to has been helpful. (It's sometimes can take longer periods of time to come to a solution but they normally stay patient until there is a solution. I've been on the phone with help desk for up to 3 hours before.)
Educational videos are always available for staff to turn back to. Live in-office trainings would help AthenaNet to be more successful. (I had a cardiologist go-live with AthenaNet then 3 weeks later returned back to his original EMR. I believe it was because of the lack in training. Physicians don't typically take time to watch training videos.)
The EMR continues to evolve based changes in health care.
AthenaNet assigning scanned paper work to patient charts.
Common complaints we hear from physicians, staff and admin - there is a lot of scrolling within a patient chart. Yes, you can jump using links but it takes a lot of retraining old habits. Quality Reports can't be adjusted - such as running reports for quality measures for different time periods for in-office comparison. Dates within reports don't show up in the header when printed. Defaults are practice wide and can't be adjusted.
Hi. Quite surprised to read other reviews actually. Im a pod... starting in private practice with emr "Cerner"... hated it. always have, always will...although it has been at least 2 yrs since I've seen Cerner in action. My wife, another doctor, actually uses practice fusion...one of the many free online web based servers. I started with athena bc to me, starting out on my own (literally), it was the easiest one-stop-shop. Learning the system is not hard, it is quite easy. From beginning to end, I can literally -meet/greet/take copays, finish intake, perform and document my exam, treat the patient, proceed to check out and r/s and finally to billing- in all of...maybe 10-15 min...thats with NO staff. Done, seen, treated, billed! I like that. If a new patient, will be bit longer of course with intake, BUT that step is very rate limiting depending on who you have doing it.
I find ease, use and flow to be great. Rarely glitches, but yes there are some. Can easily work on 3-4 charts at once.
ease of use, it really is good.
work on multiple charts at one time
rarely glitches or down time
Athena is certainly closer to a "practice fusion"...
very user-friendly..set up more like navigating to/through a web browser/site then "medical-based program"
can use your own templates, but they claim to have many (i ONLY use my own- never even once tried athena's)
CS is NOT like most reviews are stating... I have used the Athena CS/help/claims helpline many, many, many times, and 90% of the time, issues gets resolved quickly.
the cost of course. the larger you are/more pts/billing, perhaps better the rate you will get.
that is the only thing for me really.... do I want a free based software that I may or may not like, and then pay for a biller? or pay for my own cloud-based billing software....? and then, of course, you have to check up on everything.... hmm. Its less worry and less need for staff if you ask me. Again, I just started out and although I have a steady flow of pts, my opinions may change if I were seeing 45-60 pts/day with a staff of 5-10 behind the counter....
For me, now, I am more than comfortable with Athena. I like them and I like the program.
Only real con I see (which I think u can manage/manipulate/pay for on different basis) the pt statements. Meaning, pts that owe the office money... Athena apparently sends out THREE (3) statements per month (..think ?this is correct). The issue is, the office has NO CONTROL over which statements go out. For a real example, I had a pt call the office re his bill/statement for $. Another patient called in for one that had a balance of $ of course probably copays and coinsurance, however, Athena completely misses sending other statements for much larger balances. So, it's kind of random. I have multiple pts with an outstanding balance or even $!
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