Jonathan Bush, quickly

Jonathan Bush gave me a quick interview at HIMSS ten days ago. We had a chat about what the recent restatement of accounting was all about (stock off about 12%), and last night they released numbers that apparently made Wall Street a little happier (stock up 6% after hours)

More interestingly we also chatted about the uptake of the clinicals product (pretty well), and whether and when athena would open its network to other application vendors (in a while).

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  1. I still do not understand the valuation of athenahealth. The stock is materially overvalued in the marketplace based on who knows what.
    The company is a biller/debt collector. That is a function that so-called service bureaus have performed since computers started to be used for that function in the 1960s. Absolutely nothing distinct or unusual about the company’s characteristics.
    That is an administrative function that physicians have always been keen to farm out without any cost pressure to find a better, cheaper alternative for sending out bills and collecting payment for those bills.
    Simplification of reimbursement through a simple web-based interface whether or not there is a single payer mechanism on the other end would obviate a significant portion of the vast waste of resources that has always been forced upon both providers and patients for as long as private healthcare insurance has existed. And needless to say remove any value-added, if much of any exists in any case, by entities such as athenahealth.
    I have not yet taken a look at the basis for restatement of earnings, but will. Unlikely that the basis signifies deliberate and material falsification of financial results, but who knows.

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