- Change Healthcare has debuted its enterprise-scale blockchain technology for revenue cycle management in hospitals and heath systems.
- The new technology uses Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, an open source blockchain framework hosted by The Linux Foundation. It will be live by year’s end on Change Healthcare’s administrative and financial network.
- “As today’s healthcare system becomes more value-based, it’s essential that we aggressively and pervasively introduce new technologies into healthcare at scale,” CEO Neil de Crescenzo said Monday in Nashville, according to Modern Healthcare.
Enthusiasm about blockchain is growing in healthcare. While adoption rates are only at about 12%, a Deloitte report found 35% of healthcare and life sciences organizations planned to deploy the technology during 2017 — more than in other industries.
Humana CEO Bruce Broussard has called blockchain the next big advancement in healthcare, with its ability to conduct secure, traceable transactions between disparate systems and its heightened security. It also has potential to improve interoperability in healthcare, a goal of both the industry and ONC’s recent blockchain challenges.
Developed as a means of tracking international bitcoin transactions over the internet, blockchain relies on a bunch of rules to enable open source data sharing and transactions between different organizations and software systems. “It’s basically like a language that all of the companies that are participating agree to speak in order to be able to interoperate with each other, Micah Winkelspecht, founder and CEO of blockchain startup Gem, told Healthcare Dive in an interview last year.
The technology has a number of possible uses in healthcare, including EHR management, consumer identity management and fraud prevention. In an effort to encourage blockchain use, IBM identified three factors organizations should consider about the technology: It enables smart, tamper-resistant transactions and processes; the value grows as the network grows; and it shrinks deal times to seconds by increasing visibility and trust among participants.
IBM launched a blockchain service based on Hyperledger Fabric in March. The tool is designed to scale up quickly as new network members join.
Change Healthcare was the first healthcare organization to join Hyperledger, a collaborative effort to advance blockchain, signing on this spring. The Nashville-based healthcare technology firm was created in March with backing from McKesson.