It sounds like something you’d put on your tires prior to a blizzard, but the blockchain is much, much more, and it holds the promise of safe, accurate, and secure medical records. The health-care industry is plagued by an epidemic of hacks and fraud, and the blockchain is emerging as a potential cure.
The blockchain decentralizes data storage and prevents any outside tampering with the data. Once something has been added to the blockchain, it can’t be altered.
Humana and UnitedHealth are among the health-care companies that are switching their sights to the blockchain. The two companies, along with Quest Diagnostics, Optum, and Multiplan, are launching a pilot program at the end of May designed to improve the data quality in provider directories.
Optum, which is part of UnitedHealth Group, began exploring blockchain technology two years ago and determined the best use of the technology would be in ensuring the accuracy of provider directory data shared by multiple companies, Mike Jacobs, a senior distinguished engineer with Optum, told me.
“The problem we observed is that when there’s a health-care transaction, there are islands of data on either end of the transaction, and they’re often different,” Jacobs said. When data is submitted across different platforms, tiny errors can materialize in a provider’s data, such as the wrong address or phone number, and these errors can lead to claim rejections and even fines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Jacobs said.
The blockchain can serve as a conduit between members of the pilot program, Jacobs said. If one participant updates their provider directory, the other participants don’t have to because the data is shared through the blockchain, Jacobs said.
Read my story here.
Stay on top of new developments in health law and regulation, and learn more, by signing up for a free trial to Bloomberg Law.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)