- Change Healthcare has announced the availability of its blockchain-powered Intelligent Healthcare Network on Amazon Web Services.
- The network, coupled with a cloud-based offering, will let hospitals and insurers track the status of claims from submission to payment in real time.
- Payers and providers will benefit from having an immutable, auditable record that is immediately accessible, as well as lower administrative costs and near real-time adjudication, the company said.
The collaboration highlights industry enthusiasm around blockchain. In a recent Deloitte global survey, 74% of respondents cited a "compelling business case" for using the technology in their organization and 43% said they are already deploying it in some capacity.
Given its ability to improve interoperability and speed up transactions, the Internet Data Corporation expects one in five healthcare organizations will use blockchain for operations and patient identification by 2020. But despite the buzz, blockchain remains largely unproven in healthcare. Other potential use cases such as pushing patients to join a network to exchange health data are still largely on the horizon.
"It is extremely early in the development cycle of this technology," Noah Zimmerman, director of Mount Sinai's newly launched Center for Biomedical Blockchain Research, told Healthcare Dive recently. "We're really building the infrastructure and plumbing right now."
That makes Change's sync-up with a powerhouse like AWS all the more worth watching.
"AWS's flexibility, scalability, and reliability makes them an ideal partner to extend our connectivity to the cloud and offer next-generation technologies, such as blockchain, to facilitate and speed payer-provider information exchange," Kris Joshi, Change's executive vice president and president of network solutions, said in a statement. "Moving forward, we will enlist the expertise and technologies of other players in the healthcare space to extend the availability, functionality, and value of this network."
Intelligent Healthcare Network can generate about 50 million blockchain transactions daily, at an average speed of 550 transactions per second. The network has about 2,100 connections reaching more than 5,500 hospitals, 800,000 doctors and 60,000 pharmacies. That adds up to one in five patient records in the U.S. and a rate of 12 billion healthcare transactions and $2 trillion in claims a year, Change said.
Nashville-based Change launched its enterprise-scale blockchain technology for revenue cycle management in hospitals and health systems a year ago, followed by Intelligent Health Network's rollout in January.
The AWS collaboration is Change's latest with a tech heavy hitter. In November, the company partnered with Google Cloud to develop imaging solutions for healthcare providers. It is also working with Microsoft and Adobe to create a tool that helps providers understand their patients' engagement habits.