Two private equity firms are close to a deal to buy Athenahealth, a provider of cloud-based software that helps healthcare providers with patient communications, billing and patient records, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman are proposing a deal worth $17 billion including debt, and the deal could be completed within days, according to the report.
Demand for healthcare technology and remote care rose during the pandemic, and Athenahealth competes in this space with larger companies, such as Cerner and Epic Systems, the report stated.
In a July 2020 interview with PYMNTS, Epic Systems Vice President Ryan Krause said trying to make big changes to how medical care gets delivered and paid for was a slow, uphill battle until the pandemic hit. But the industry is making major pivots in how it provides services, as well as how and when it brings tech tools to bear to generate both better outcomes for patients and more effective resources deployment for providers
“The system has changed, [and] consumers are really changing how they think and how they approach healthcare,” Krause said, adding the public is warming up to “things that maybe have had trouble gaining traction in the past.”
In another July 2020 report, PYMNTS said getting U.S. patients to use telehealth services was a challenge in a pre-pandemic world, with JD Power finding that only 10% of consumers used telemedicine in 2019. But after the pandemic hit, doctors’ offices shut down and patients and providers suddenly saw telehealth in a new light.
“This situation has really laid bare a lot of the issues that have been within the system for this whole time,” Murray Brozinsky, CEO of virtual care platform Conversa Health, told PYMNTS at the time. “This was building, but what telehealth likely required was a catalyst, [and] COVID-19 has now been that catalyst that pushed it … right over the edge.”