March 24, 2017 | last updated March 26, 2017 2:48 pm
Greater Hartford Health

Executive Profile: SCIO Health Analytics nurtures data to life

HBJ Photo \\ John Stearns
HBJ Photo \\ John Stearns
Siva Namasivayam CEO, SCIO Health Analytics, West Hartford Highest education: University of Michigan, MBA

No matter what happens with the Affordable Care Act, SCIO Health Analytics' mission will remain relevant because of the industry's shift toward value-based care, the head of the West Hartford-based company says.

"I always say that we are not recession-proof, but we are politics-proof," said CEO Siva Namasivayam. "Because the cost problem is there and we are trying to solve cost. Companies need to address cost."

SCIO, pronounced "See-oh" and Latin for to know and understand, helps insurers, hospital systems and life sciences companies like pharmaceuticals, collect and analyze data and offer recommendations to improve return on investment.

SCIO found that it needed to go beyond collecting mountains of often-complex data for companies.

"They also need to have sophisticated people on their side to be able to interpret the data and do something with it," Namasivayam said.

So the company recently launched what it calls SCIOXpert, offering SCIO data scientists who decipher the information and recommend action plans.

"We can keep on analyzing until the cows come home, but how do you make sure that it's actionable is the big problem in the industry," which SCIO addresses, he said.

The company does everything from analyzing insurance claims and billing practices to patient referrals and prescribing trends. It lists its focus areas as population health, payment integrity, risk adjustment and care management, among other areas.

SCIO has come far since launching in Dec. 2007 with Namasivayam and two others. It now has about 900 employees globally, with about 50 at its corporate headquarters, making it one of the larger health-analytics firms, according to Namasivayam. SCIO plans to add about 20 to 25 people in West Hartford in the next six months and do about $80 million in revenue this year, Namasivayam said.

"I think the market is just starting," he said. "We hope to get to $100 million in the next year," with an aggressive vision to hit $200 million in 2020.

Health analytics is an industry possessing significant growth potential in the Hartford area with the concentration of insurance and healthcare knowledge workers already here. He believes it presents a niche opportunity for Connecticut in a sector bound to grow with high-paying jobs.

While Namasivayam lives in Westport, he located SCIO in Greater Hartford because of the insurance and healthcare industry here and workers with knowledge in those areas.

He got the idea for SCIO while working at Gartner, an international information technology research and advisory company, in Stamford, a job that brought him to Connecticut in 1993 from Intel, where he worked in research and development as a senior software engineer. He developed a technology company he sold to Perot Systems and later went to work for Mphasis, an EDS company, as senior vice president-chief revenue officer, before starting SCIO.

The company has evolved from providing software to collect and analyze data to providing concrete recommendations for improvements.

SCIO also provides behavioral analytics and consumer demographics by ZIP code to give clients a 360-degree view of their consumers and factors that influence their health.

SCIO applies the same view to physicians to build a profile that includes billing practices, quality ratings, prescriptions and referrals. Data can be used, for example, to help doctors refer to colleagues with the best outcomes for the cost.

Outside West Hartford, where the chief data scientists and technology analysts work, SCIO also has offices in Florida, Pittsburgh, California, London (where SCIO acquired Data Intelligence in 2015) and Chennai, India.

Namasivayam, 52 and who grew up in India, came to the U.S. about 30 years ago to study computers after getting an undergraduate degree in computer engineering in India. He then earned a master's degree in computer science at the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA at the University of Michigan.

He's married with two children, a son in college and daughter in high school. His wife, Kala, works at UBS in Stamford.

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