Three months after leaving Accretive Health, an embattled revenue-cycle company, Dr. Emad Rizk is now the CEO of Verscend Technologies.
“This was a bit of a coming back home,” said Rizk, 53, who used to work on health plan issues at McKesson Corp. before jumping to Accretive, which mostly contracts with hospitals and health systems. Verscend, formerly known as Verisk Health, works with insurers and other payers on data analytics, risk adjustment, quality metrics and payment accuracy projects.
Rizk left Chicago-based Accretive in May after he and the company's board “mutually agreed” he should step down. Rizk did not offer many other details about his departure or his two-year tenure at Accretive, which is now part-owned by Catholic health system Ascension Health and private-equity firm TowerBrook Capital Partners. But he said he was happy Accretive was able to restate its financial documents, a problem that was brought to light before Rizk arrived in 2013 but served as a black eye on the company, which still remains delisted from the stock market.
“We needed to get a lot done with the restatement, and we did that,” Rizk said. “I'm very proud of the organization, and I'm proud of the people there. I continue to look forward to see their future success.”
Verscend, which has about 2,000 employees and is based in Waltham, Mass., has undergone its own series of recent changes. Earlier this year, private-equity firm Veritas Capital bought Verscend for $820 million from Verisk Analytics, a publicly traded company. Verscend generated $307 million of revenue in 2015, according to financial documents.
Rizk said he hopes to grow annual revenue by “double digit” percentages. Verscend works with 220 health insurers and payers, including eight of the 10 largest plans, he said. Some of Verscend's biggest competitors include UnitedHealth Group's Optum, Truven Health Analytics and Inovalon.
Verscend is in the process of integrating all of its services. One of its most pertinent services involves risk adjustment. The Affordable Care Act created the permanent risk-adjustment program for the individual and small-group exchange markets as a way to limit insurers from cherry-picking the healthiest members. But risk adjustment also exists in Medicare Advantage and managed Medicaid programs, which has driven demand from insurers that want to capture the full risk scores of the population.
“Not all of the patients are created equal,” Rizk said. “They all have various levels of risk and various levels of complexity from a medical perspective. It is very important for payers to understand the risk burden.”