Athenahealth incentives deal passed by council

Jan 31, 2014
Austin Business Journal

Austin City Council on Thursday approved a $679,500 incentives package designed to sweeten the pot for Athenahealth Inc., the Massachussets-based health care software company that is considering opening a research and development office at the redeveloped Seaholm power plant, according to a report in the Austin American-Statesman


Council voted 5-2 to approve the deal. Council members Kathie Tovo and Laura Morrison voted against it


The passage of the city's incentives package now clears the way for an additional $5 million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund


In return for the 10-year incentives deal, Athenahealth would bring more than 600 jobs to the facility. Those jobs would make the company Austin's largest software developer by local employee count, according to data compiled by the Austin Business Journal. The company provides cloud-based services for handling of electronic health records, physician practice management and care coordination


The jobs that Athenahealth said it will bring to Austin will pay an average annual wage of $109,000. The average wage for the lowest paid 10 percent of workers is estimated to be $82,000


In the days leading up to the vote, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce called upon Austinites to support the deal after several council members and members of the public questioned the rationale for the incentives offer


Austin is not alone in its efforts to lure the company within its borders, with Athenahealth officials fielding offers from locales in California, Massachussets and Georgia


Athenahealth already has 36 employees at an office at the Domain in North Austin. The company was founded in 1997 and employs 2,853 in five U.S. locations and one international office


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