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Sometimes, it seems like the health IT sector has as many incubators and accelerators as it does startups to enroll in them. This is probably a good thing. The clinical software vendor Athenahealth has opened a new one, called the “More Disruption Please (MDP) Accelerator.”

The accelerator went into a sort of beta in June when it began working with a single startup, Smart Scheduling. But Athenahealth is now inviting health IT startups to apply for participation. Its mission is to “drive connectivity and innovation across the continuum of care,” according to a statement.

A spokesman told VentureBeat that Athenahealth would provide venture capital to companies through the accelerator.

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MDP is actually the third phase of an effort that started in 2010 to connect with and promote startups that are addressing problem areas in the health care delivery system outside of the electronic health record (EHR), the spokesman said.

The MDP Network came first, an initiative for “bringing like-minded health care professionals together through conferences and hackathons,” as Athenahealth describes it. In the second phase, Athenahealth set up a marketplace where health care providers could shop for health IT solutions that the software vendor has blessed.

Aside from funding, the accelerator portfolio companies get free office space at its Watertown, Mass., headquarters, and ongoing mentorship from Athenahealth experts, advisers-in-residence, and business partners. The accelerator will also provide portfolio companies with exposure to Athenahealth’s network of more than 55,000 health care providers via seamless integration with its athenaNet platform.

Athenahealth says the accelerator will accept applications on a rolling basis, with an expected residency period of eight to 12 months for each portfolio company.

Athenahealth uses a cloud-based approach to delivering EHR systems as well as revenue cycle management and medical billing, patient engagement, care coordination, and population health management systems. It also offers the Epocrates mobile health tool set for doctors, which it acquired in 2013.

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