Athenahealth Shares Soar on NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Deal

Athenahealth Inc. shares climbed the most since April after the maker of electronic health records announced a deal with one of New York state’s biggest doctor networks.

The shares rose as high as 6.2 percent to $124.47 on Thursday upon news of the contract with NewYork-Presbyterian Physician Services Organization. Under the deal, Athenahealth will provide software to help more than 800 physicians and about 300 licensed professionals manage their patients.

Athenahealth is pushing for more deals with large organizations after struggling with contract bookings in 2014. The NewYork-Presbyterian deal follows a pact in April to supply software to Trinity Health Corp., a Catholic health system in Michigan.

“This is a nice-size contract win for Athenahealth and certainly adds visibility to 2016 performance,” Steven Halper, an analyst at FBR & Co., wrote in a research note on the NewYork-Presbyterian deal. Financial terms of the contract weren’t disclosed.

Not-for-profit and religiously affiliated hospitals, like for-profit ones, are finding they need better technology to compete, Athenahealth Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Bush said on a conference call in May.

“The amount of capital that they’re having to deploy and the amount of overhead staff that they’re having to deploy to operate the way the highly-subsidized academic centers operate is not going to fly,” he said.

Athenahealth shares had lost 7.3 percent in the past year through Wednesday. The Watertown, Massachusetts-based company reports second-quarter earnings after the close Thursday.

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