Why Verisk Analytics is putting its healthcare division up for sale
Data analytics provider Verisk Analytics has recently hired investment firm Morgan Stanley to sell its healthcare division, Verisk Health, in a deal anticipated to be worth between $900 million and $1.08 billion.
Verisk Analytics serves HR departments, supply chain specialists, retail businesses, commercial real estate developers and government services among others. The sale could be a very attractive for merging and acquisition (M&A) opportunities for companies looking to strengthen their footprint in healthcare data analytics.
Meanwhile, Verisk Health is attempting to change the healthcare industry by providing data services, analytics and advanced technologies that answer some of the sector’s most complex challenges. Its population health analytics arm uses predictive science to identify opportunities for interventions as well as to judge risk levels for patients.
The company also has a payment answer arm which works on claim accuracy and fraud protection. It serves Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set management, legal providers and life insurance.
The Salt Lake City-based company has a focus on reducing risk across all domains of healthcare, and also helps health plans, employers, providers and other risk-bearing entities improve its quality of healthcare delivery and cutting costs among others.
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Verisk has acquired several companies since joining the healthcare sector in 2004, and some of its customers include health plans, Medicare Advantage, Managed Medicaid, employers and life insurance carriers.
In 2011, Verisk bought Medicare and Medicaid data collector Health Risk Partners LLC for $60 million before purchasing venture capital-backed MediConnect Global for $358.6 million in 2012.
This past March, Verisk announced its acquisition of a Scottish oil, gas and energy consultancy and data analysis provider Wood Mackenzie for $2.8 billion. The purchase represented the company’s surge into the energy, chemicals and mining industries.
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In its most recent quarterly filing in July, Verisk Analytics noted that its healthcare and financial services solutions businesses led its revenue growth in the quarter. The healthcare business reported decision analytics revenues of $69 million in the three months ended June 30, as compared to $65.1 million the previous year.
Verisk is not the only large company considering divestitures of healthcare IT units. In early September, manufacturing giant 3M Co. announced it was exploring strategic alternatives for its global Health Information Systems Businesses, including spinning off, selling, or retaining and investing in the business.
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NHS trials test that predicts sepsis 3 days in advance
A new test that can predict sepsis before the patient develops symptoms is being trialled at a National Health Service (NHS) hospital in the south of England.
Clinicians at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital are leading medical trials of the blood test, which they hope will help them save thousands of lives a year.
The test is being developed by government spin-out company Presymptom Health, but the research began over 10 years ago at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). This included a study of 4,385 patients and more than 70,000 samples, the largest study of its kind at the time.
From the samples taken, a clinical biobank and database were generated and then mined using machine learning to identify biomarker signatures that could predict the onset of sepsis. The researchers found they were able to provide an early warning of sepsis up to three days ahead of illness with an accuracy of up to 90%.
Unlike most other tests, Presymptom Health identifies the patient’s response to the disease as opposed to detecting the pathogen. This is an important differentiator, as sepsis occurs as a result of the patient's immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury, which can then cause life-threatening organ dysfunction.
Worldwide, an estimated 49 million people a year contract sepsis, while in the UK almost two million patients admitted to hospital each year are thought to be at risk of developing the condition. If Presymptom's test is effective, it could save billions of pounds globally and improve clinical outcomes for millions of sepsis patients.
The initial trials at Queen Alexandra Hospital will last 12 months, with two other sites planned to go live this summer. Up to 600 patients admitted to hospital with respiratory tract infections will be given the option to participate in the trial. The data collected will be independently assessed and used to refine and validate the test, which could be available for broader NHS use within two years.
If successful, this test could also identify sepsis arising from other infections before symptoms appear, which could potentially include future waves of COVID-19 and other pandemics.
Dr Roman Lukaszewski, the lead Dstl scientist behind the innovation, said: “It is incredible to see this test, which we had originally begun to develop to help service personnel survive injury and infection on the front line, is now being used for the wider UK population, including those fighting COVID-19.”