A sum greater than its parts

SDI combines forces with Verispan to create comprehensive healthcare industry database

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PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa.—Seeking to expand its custom patient-level data analytics capabilities and expertise, SDI Health LLC in late July acquired syndicated data provider and competitor Verispan with plans to combine forces and create a comprehensive healthcare industry database.

Private equity firm LLR Partners provided SDI with equity capital for the purchase, but financial terms were not disclosed. The combined organization will be known as SDI, though select offerings may retain the Verispan brand. SDI will retain its offices in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., and keep Verispan's offices in Yardley, Pa., Cranbury, N.J., and Waltham, Mass.

Although both companies provide patient-level analytics to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals, clinics and other clients, there is little overlap between the two. SDI's focus is on custom patient-level data analytics, while Verispan's business focuses on syndicated patient-level data and audit-based analytic solutions, healthcare lists and profiles, and marketing services.

The Verispan acquisition extends SDI's ability to meet client needs throughout the entire spectrum of healthcare data and analyses, says SDI CEO Andrew Kress.

"We consider this an important milestone toward our goal of continuing to deploy innovative next-generation healthcare analytic products and services," Kress says. "The industry recognizes that superior client service has always been a hallmark of both SDI and Verispan, and we will ensure a seamless transition for our customers as we integrate the industry-leading products and services from the two companies."

But the real genesis behind the acquisition is the creation of an extensive, longitudinal database including information that is all de-identified, which Kress calls "the most comprehensive database in the healthcare industry."

"Our mission is to provide better answers to our clients' questions, and this is a means to an end of doing that," he says. "The model we have developed allows us expandability into data types and other channels and gives our clients a solution where they can look at things from a patient-, provider- or payer-centric perspective. I would argue we have the broadest access to data and reporting than any other company out there, and Verispan is a strong, customer-centric partner that will help our clients better understand the answers to their questions."

From Verispan's perspective, the company gains the ability to provide secondary market research services beyond the pharmaceutical industry to the financial, public and advertising and marketing communities, says Jody Fisher, vice president of patient product management at Verispan.

"Having this expanded set of data sets is going to enable us to offer our clients virtually any type of solution," Fisher says. "Their needs are very varied, and their interests are migrating on almost a daily basis. It's very important to us that when our clients come looking for us to solve a problem, we have a ready-made solution for them. The combination of the data sets is going to put us in a position of having a wide breadth of opportunities to solve many of our clients' current issues and problems. The sum of these two companies is much greater than each of its parts." DDN

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