What’s the big thing behind the Cognizant acquisition of TriZetto?

The $2.7 billion acquisition of HIT payer-provider services company TriZetto by IT/BPO outsourcer Cognizant indicates the value that large, largely offshored companies are seeing in health data. According to Fortune, “The combined company has more than $3 billion in healthcare revenue, as well as about $1.5 billion of potential revenue synergies over the next five years from which Cognizant can cull further gains.” Cognizant’s healthcare and life sciences sector is about 26 percent of their $8.84 billion total annual revenue, but what they haven’t had is the provider-payer software and TriZetto’s IP.

So why the big number (which exits the investors quite nicely) which nearly equals the value of the combined companies in healthcare? The trend this Editor has spotted is that hard-pressed hospitals and health plans are anxious to monetize their patient data–albeit de-identified–but don’t necessarily want anyone to know about this. There has always been de-identified data for use in longitudinal population health and shorter term clinical studies, including pharma trials, but as hospitals and payers reach for new revenue streams, getting them to sell their data for further commercial use looks like a proverbial bag of gold on the sidewalk to Cognizant, traditionally a low-cost international outsourcer of IT services, but now with a wealth of data for sale–what’s called re-marketing. Fortune, Healthcare IT News, Wall Street Journal (unlocked)

The question to many in healthcare concerned about privacy is how we can preserve it in the face of re-marketing–and can we opt out?

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