The US Healthcare system may finally be taking steps in the right direction. Aetna recently announced that it has joined a newly formed blockchain alliance, along with Ascension. Five other healthcare giants in the US are already piloting blockchain technology.
Blockchain Technology for Healthcare
Humana, Multiplan, UnitedHealth Group’s Optum, Quest Diagnostics, and UnitedHealthcare are all a part of the group. The alliance is trying to figure out how blockchain technology can improve data quality and lower costs.
Blockchain tech entered into the mainstream media back in 2017. It’s surprising that these healthcare systems haven’t been exploring blockchain sooner. Many of the major banks across the world were quick to see how the emerging tech could improve their current systems.
Blockchain technology could transform medicine in the US. These health insurers are currently looking at the administrative costs spent on keeping information in the system up-to-date. Many of these healthcare plans list providers that are in-network with their systems and provide office hours and locations. However, doctors often move practices and become out of network with insurers quite frequently.
Blockchain technology for healthcare could revolutionize the way providers and healthcare organization share information. This is just one way the technology could be useful in the field.
“We believe this alliance has the market presence and velocity to actually change how we exchange data to provide healthcare,” Gerry Lewis, Ascension’s chief information officer, said. “Providers, payers and consumers—you need to have all three engaged to look at this.”
Currently, Aetna insures around 22 million Americans, and Ascension is the largest not-for-profit health system in the US. Blockchain technology could be extremely useful for many different facets of the US healthcare field, but this is a good first step. Down the road, Lewis hopes the alliance will look into how blockchain can be used in clinical settings with patient health information.
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