Payers bullish on blockchain
- The idea of blockchain is gaining momentum, with 19% of hospital leaders and 76% of health insurance executives either thinking of deploying or in the process of implementing the technology, a new Black Book Market Research survey reveals.
- An even greater share — 29% of hospital executives and 82% of payers claim a working knowledge of blockchain in the 2017 third quarter.
- When asked about interoperability, 93% of managed care organizations and 70% of hospitals said they see huge promise for blockchain solutions. Nine in 10 medical group managers and IT specialists also agree that blockchain could solve a range of issues from connectivity to private and data sharing.
The top three blockchain uses for both providers and payers are contracting, finances/reimbursement and big data collection. For providers, that’s followed by the healthcare internet of things, identity management and supply chain. Payers utilization differs slightly, with identity management, supply chain and IoT ranking 4th, 5th and 6th.
The findings echo a Deloitte survey published earlier this year, which found 35% of healthcare and life sciences organizations planned to deploy blockchain solutions in 2017.
Last fall, ONC announced 15 winners to its blockchain challenge, including Accenture, National Quality Forum and Mayo Clinic. The winners were chosen for their potential to impact market viability, improve the flow of health information and nurture transformative change, among other things.
Yet, despite strong enthusiasm, just 9% of provider organizations have definite plans to deploy blockchain by Q2 2018, according to the Black Book survey. By contrast, 70% of payers expect to integrate blockchain with their systems by the first quarter of 2019.
A major barrier to adoption is regulatory uncertainty around the design and use of blockchain. With few technical standards to guide the emerging technology, would-be users may be waiting federal guidance in the form of rules anticipated sometime next year, the report says.