North Carolina health IT company Bloodhound Technologies, a company whose software combats insurance fraud, has been acquired by Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq: VRSK) for $82 million in cash in a move that Verisk says will strengthen the company's position providing data and analytics software services for the health care industry.

Jersey City, New Jersey-based Verisk's slogan is "The Science of Risk." While Verisk already offers analytics software for various types of insurance, Bloodhound brings specific expertise in addressing health insurance fraud.

"Bloodhound has developed a unique solution aimed at addressing the need of health care payers to control fraud and waste in a real-time claims-processing environment," Verisk President and COO Scott Stephenson said in a prepared statement. "We believe these capabilities align naturally with our existing fraud identification tools and create opportunities for cross-marketing and revenue synergies while offering next-generation technologies."

Durham, North Carolina-based Bloodhound's customers include health plans, state and federal payers, and third-party administrators. Bloodhound's software capabilities include claims editing, fraud analytics, and audit services.

Bloodhound's software platform, called ConVergence Point, fights fraud by finding and flagging unusual behavior in procedures, frequency of patient visits, place of service and other data points. Bloodhound's software is offered over the Internet in a "software-as-a-service" model.

Verisk's customer base includes the top property and casualty insurance companies in the United States. Its health care customers include health plans and third-party administrators. In 2010, Verisk reported more than $1.1 billion in revenue. The company has been active in mergers and acquisitions; Bloodhound is the company's seventh acquisition in the last two years.

Bloodhound was founded in 1997. The venture capital-backed company's investors include Noro-Moseley Partners, Wakefield Group, SSM Partners, Delta Capital Management and Pappas Ventures.

Bloodhound President and CEO Gary Twigg will remain with the company as it integrates into Verisk. Before joining Bloodhound in 2002, Twigg spent 10 years with companies providing contract services to federal and state governments and he led the development of the first large-scale information system developed for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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