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U.S. Healthcare Alliance Conducts Blockchain Trial For Better Data Quality

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With the advent of blockchain technology, the healthcare industry is currently witnessing important changes. Blockchain’s ability to efficiently manage and transfer data finds it a potential use case in healthcare.

As a result, the U.S. Healthcare Alliance has decided to trial blockchain solutions to reduce costs and simultaneously improve data quality. On Monday, Modern Healthcare publication reported that Aetna and Ascension have recently joined the Synaptic Health Alliance.

Ascension is the largest not-for-profit health system in the U.S., while CVS Health-Aetna currently offers services to 22 million members. Other members of the alliance include Quest Diagnostics, Multiplan, Humana, UnitedHealthcare, and UnitedHealth Group’s Optum.

Addressing the Lacuna In the Existing Healthcare System

An analysis by Medicare & Medicaid Services shows that nearly half of the information on Medicare Advantage Organizations contains mistakes. This can further affect the customers leading to unnecessary fines and causing delays in medical services.

At present, insurers maintain their own directories of data. The average annual spending of the insurance companies is $2.1 billion to keep the information up to date and simultaneously secure.

Modern Healthcare reports that the alliance wants to use the blockchain technology to decentralize the storage and make information sharing more accurate. It proper directories are maintained, customers can get on-time services and prevent paying unnecessary fines.

Furthermore, the alliance will leverage blockchain’s security and the ability to track all the copies in real time. Also, the use of blockchain can considerably cut operational costs, says Lidia Fonseca, chief information officer of Quest Diagnostics.

Ascension’s chief information officer, Gerry Lewis said that the use of blockchain can also reduce the burden on insurance providers. Lewis said that the reason behind joining this alliance is its multidisciplinary approach and the scale of companies involved.

“We believe this alliance has the market presence and velocity to actually change how we exchange data to provide healthcare,” Lewis said. “Providers, payers and consumers—you need to have all three engaged to look at this.”

Lewis says that going further, blockchain can help the alliance to securely share the clinical information with other players of the industry. But for now, he said, “we’re at step one of probably a 300-step journey.”

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