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U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Grants athenahealth, Inc., a Patent for its Practice Management and Billing Automation System

Friday, November 13, 2009

Company gains patent protection for its athenaNet® rules engine, which it uses to reverse engineer payer requirements and enforce them directly within medical practice workflow

Watertown, MA -- athenahealth, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHN), a leading provider of internet-based business services to physician practices, today announced that on November 10, 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued athenahealth a patent entitled, ‘Practice Management and Billing Automation System’ (U.S. Patent No. 7,617,116) for its athenaNet® rules engine that is part of the Company’s revenue cycle management service, athenaCollector.

The patented athenahealth technology is, briefly described, a method for managing a medical practice’s insurance claims by storing and modifying claim rules based on ongoing interactions with claim messages received from payers on submitted claims, enabling the system to automatically produce cleaner and more accurate claims. A complete description of the patented technology is available through the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

"Early on we designed athenaNet to act as a national utility that was able to harness billing and medical practice operational data working with a global rules engine to drive improved financial and operational results across our national physician network. It is athenahealth’s unique ability to leverage this web-based system and our analyst and service teams to reverse engineer, codify, and drive payer and proprietary billing intelligence directly into medical practice workflow that results in our clients experiencing significant financial improvement," said Jonathan Bush, athenahealth’s Chairman and CEO. "We are thrilled to have been granted a U.S. patent on our athenaNet rules engine as it has always been a key source of competitive differentiation and our client service results. While this differentiation has always been valuable to us, it has been defended primarily by our superior execution. With this patent being issued, we will now have a stronger legal basis for defending this advantage in the marketplace."

As part of the athenaNet rules engine, athenahealth has built, and continuously updates, a proprietary knowledge-base of payer reimbursement process rules. In turn, the athenaCollector revenue cycle management service is designed to enforce medical office workflow in conjunction with these rules. The web-based service functions as a proactive utility that guides medical practice staff away from making billing mistakes that may adversely impact the practice’s operational performance.

About athenahealth

athenahealth, Inc. is a leading provider of Internet-based business services for physician practices. athenahealth's service offerings are based on proprietary web-native practice management and electronic health record (EHR) software, a continuously updated payer knowledge-base, integrated back-office service operations, and automated and live patient communication services. For more information visit or call (888) 652-8200.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the anticipated benefits of athenahealth's service offerings. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. In particular, the risks and uncertainties include, among other things: the risk that our service offerings will not operate in the manner that we expect due to design flaws, security breaches, or otherwise; potential interruptions or delays in our internet-based services offerings; our reliance upon third parties, such as computer hardware, software, data-hosting, and internet infrastructure providers, which reliance may result in failures or disruptions in our service offerings; errors or omissions included in our payer and clinical intelligence rules engine and database; and the evolving and complex government regulatory compliance environment in which we and our clients operate. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. athenahealth, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events, or circumstances or otherwise. For additional disclosure regarding these and other risks faced by athenahealth, Inc., see the disclosure contained in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, available on the Investors section of our website at and on the SEC's website at

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