IBM, Aetna, Anthem, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), and PNC Bank are working together to establish a blockchain that will more efficiently manage claims and payment processing, better secure healthcare information, enable more accurate provider directories and in general improve data accuracy for providers, regulators, and who knows, maybe even insured individuals although they were not discussed.
As is always the case in transformation and the elimination of bottlenecks, there will need to be winners and losers. So since the first use case isn’t yet defined I wouldn’t be holding my breath for the first general release:
“IBM is partnering with PNC Bank to design a blockchain network to improve the healthcare sector allowing others to build, share and deploy solutions that drive digital transformation.
Insurers Aetna and Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), as well as health solutions firm Anthem have also joined this collaboration.
Some of the challenges this aims to address are promoting efficient claims and payment processing, to enable secure healthcare information exchanges, and to maintain accurate provider directories.
“Through the application of blockchain technology, we’ll work to improve data accuracy for providers, regulators, and other stakeholders, and give our members more control over their own data,” says Claus Jensen, chief technology officer at Aetna.
“We view blockchain as an enabler for establishing trust,” says Rajeev Ronanki, chief digital officer of Anthem. “With a trusted foundation based on transparency and cryptography, we will provide a faster, safer and more secure way to exchange medical information to transform the consumer healthcare experience.”
Aetna, Anthem, HCSC, PNC Bank, and IBM are working to define the initial use cases for the network. The collaboration will add additional members in the coming months including other health organisations, healthcare providers, start-ups, and technology companies.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group