New Healthcare Alliance to Experiment with Blockchain for Improved Data Quality
Major healthcare providers in the United States have banded together in a joint venture that will see them experimenting with blockchain solutions in a bid to improve the quality of data and reduce costs. This alliance was disclosed on Monday, December 3, by Modern Healthcare, a weekly news outlet in the US.
The venture known as The Synaptic Health Alliance is comprised of Quest Diagnostics, Multiplan, UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and UnitedHealth Group’s Option. Joining the group just recently is CVS Health-Aetna, which boasts of 22 million members in its roll call, and Ascension, dubbed by Modern Healthcare as the “largest not-for-profit health system in the US.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – analyzing the information given between September 2016 and August 2017 – disclosed that mistakes were contained in at least half of the data on Medicare Advantage Organizations. According to the Centers, these mistakes affected customers by delaying the medical services given to them and also subjecting them to fines.
In its report, Modern Healthcare states that the alliance “hopes decentralized storage will keep information more accurate thanks to the security of the system and the ability to track all copies almost in real time.”
The article also noted that up to $2.1 billion are being spent by healthcare providers to store data each year. Lidia Fonseca, the chief information officer of Quest Diagnostics, believes that healthcare organizations could significantly cut down the cost of operation by using a shared blockchain system for customers, providers, and insurers.
Gerry Lewis, the chief information officer of Ascension, was also quoted as saying that blockchain could be used to “securely share clinical information to the parties involved in the process.”
For a while now, the healthcare industry has been taking advantage of the decentralized nature of the blockchain. Hospitals, in particular, can safely store their patients’ data with blockchain. Myongji, the prominent South Korean hospital, and Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University Hospital are some examples of hospitals experimenting with blockchain-based systems.
The blockchain is not limited to hospitals, however. It can be used in other sectors of healthcare.
In April, Camelot Consulting Group, a German-based firm, developed a blockchain-based platform to manage sensitive medical data. And back in October, Blackberry, the software company and former smartphone manufacturing giant, released a blockchain-driven platform focused on the health industry.
Prominent US healthcare providers have formed an alliance whose focus is to experiment with blockchain solutions to reduce operating costs and improve data quality.
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