Belfast-based athenahealth expanding search for 80 employees to Bangor

An entrance sign is seen at athenahealth's offices in Belfast in July 2011.
John Clarke Russ | BDN
An entrance sign is seen at athenahealth's offices in Belfast in July 2011. Buy Photo
By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff
Posted March 15, 2012, at 8:53 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — A major health care information technology firm in Belfast is looking for more than a few good people to join its team — about 80 more, to be precise — and is casting its net farther afield to find them.

“We’ve been very blessed since we came up here, but we’re starting to see that the amount of applicants coming to us that are qualified to do the work is smaller and smaller,” David Tassoni of athenahealth said last week. “We’re trying to reach out and get ourselves known.”

The company is holding an open house next week at the Spectacular Event Center in Bangor in order to increase awareness of what athenahealth does and about the positions that will be available.

Currently there are about 400 people working in the Massachusetts-based company’s Maine operations center, located in part of the offices built by credit card giant MBNA. Tassoni said employment in Belfast has been growing at a rate of 100 people a year, with no signs of stopping or even of slowing down.

“Our belief is that it is going to continue at a pace that is slightly accelerated,” he said, adding that he would be “very happy” if lots of people turned out at the Bangor event.

“I think it would be a fantastic problem if I had hundreds of people wanting to talk to me. I would love to have that problem,” Tassoni said.

The company manages billing and more for thousands of doctors and medical groups, including processing tons of paperwork and claims for insurance companies. Clients become subscribers to a sophisticated cloud-based software program and all paperwork is sent to athenahealth instead of their medical offices.

Last summer, Charlie Colgan of the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Maine said that athenahealth’s clientele and work is likely to expand significantly over the next decade. There is a major push in the U.S. to create a system for electronic health records, he said, and that is what the company does.

Jobs that will be available over the next few months include client services analyst, enrollment analyst and revenue analyst. There are competitive wages and benefits, Tassoni said, as well as the opportunity to profit from an annual bonus program based on individual performance.

“I think we are a very stable company with high growth potential,” he said. “The real key piece is our culture. Our company, I believe, is exceptional about empowering people to meet potential. We give people a lot of room to grow and to learn.”

He said that the Belfast offices are casual and fun, with very little hierarchy and even the possibility of bringing dogs to work.

“At the end of the day, we’re really looking for people who are interested and engaged,” Tassoni said. “We are a mission-centric company. We’re looking for people who are passionate about what we’re doing.”

He said that the ability to problem solve and communicate are key ingredients for employees.

“We do look for college-educated people, without a doubt,” Tassoni said. “I think it’s the skills you learn in college courses that help you advance and prepare.”

However, many in the company don’t have college degrees but are just “exceptional” at research and problem-solving, he said.

One example is a former firefighter who has become one of his favorite people at athenahealth. Although his resume might not have seemed like a health-claims management job was the right fit, in fact he brought a great attitude and ability to learn when he joined the company.

“Now he’s one of my most trusted analysts,” Tassoni said.

The athenahealth open house will be held from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, at the Spectacular Event Center at 395 Griffin Road in Bangor.

For more information, please visit athenahealth.com.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/15/news/midcoast/belfast-based-athenahealth-expanding-search-for-80-employees-to-bangor/ printed on August 21, 2014