- Blockchain technology could potentially be "the next dramatic innovation in healthcare," Humana CEO Bruce Broussard has suggested in a recent LinkedIn post.
- Broussard described health insurance claims as technically complicated because they require a series of validations by multiple parties and additional third parties acting on their behalf.
- That process could be simplified, he suggested, by blockchain technology's ability to provide secure and trackable transactions between multiple parties without the need for an intermediary, as with Bitcoin transactions.
The suggestion ties in with recent industry interest in blockchain for its general potential to improve interoperability in healthcare, as well as the ONC's recent calls for proposals for using blockchain specifically in addressing privacy, security and scalability challenges in EHRs and resources.
Aside from the improvement standpoint, Broussard points toward research indicating blockchain could save the banking industry up to $20 billion per year in infrastructure costs alone by 2022. While the potential is high, Broussard and other experts acknowledge remaining concerns about security.
As noted by Louisville Business First, American Banker says banks have experienced thefts by hackers and worry about the security of their transaction history. On the bright side, blockchain could provide some relief to the ransomware problem, Micah Winkelspecht, founder and CEO of blockchain startup Gem, recently told Healthcare Dive.
"The integration of blockchain into the healthcare system still has a long way to go before its potential can be fully realized," Broussard said. "The good news is that the healthcare industry has already started to embrace the transformational power of technology."