For those of you following the whole blockchain revolution, it will come as no surprise that one of the industries poised to become a major adopter of the technology is the healthcare sector. The technology enables information to be shared instantaneously and safely and has a whole host of potential applications for the medical community from payments claims to patient records to data consolidation for entities such as the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. Just like the internet in its early days, the applications are as far-reaching as one’s imagination is for databases. Watch for this sector’s continued growth in the coming months and years.
(Cindy Taylor, Publisher)
Blockchain is poised to become the next big healthcare innovation, and both insurance and provider organizations see real value in it.
The technology that began with Bitcoin in 2009 promises to provide the safe, interoperable sharing of real-time data between providers, payers and patients.
Blockchain can help payers and providers sort out payment disputes by automatically verifying and authorizing information, leading to faster claims payments. It can also be applied to population health by giving providers and payers access to patient databases.
And in prior authorization, a physician can use blockchain to instantly make the request to the insurance company, cutting out middlemen for direct access to safely encrypted information.
Humana’s Chief Innovation Officer Chris Kay said blockchain eliminates the need for a third party to leverage and distribute data. Transactions can close in real time.
“Everybody that is part of transaction has access to the network,” Kay said. “There’s no need for an intermediary. Blockchain allows for verification instantly.”
Blockchain offers transparency and security at a reduced cost, said Aetna’s Abbie Barbir speaking at a HIMSS17 session in Orlando this February. Barbir is senior security advisory, Mobile Security Innovation, Global Information Security, for Aetna.
The ability to share and exchange data in an interoperable fashion can result in significant cost savings and enhanced security, he said.
Humana CEO Bruce Broussard has also called blockchain the next big healthcare technology innovation. But the concept of blockchain is still so new that it’s not yet widely embraced by the industry.
“Few health insurers are actively investing in blockchain now as it is still very new, but some are starting to consider investments and piloting the technology,” said Sarah Thomas, director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. “Many health insurers are still trying to understand the full capabilities and requirements of blockchain, and how it could fit into their future technology strategy.”
Ninety percent of the dollars being invested in blockchain are not going into healthcare, but to Bitcoin or financial companies, according to Healthcoin CEO Diego Espinosa….