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Arizona ACO Pilots Blockchain Platform to Improve Clinical Outcomes, Reduce Costs

March 21, 2018
by Heather Landi
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Arizona Care Network, a Phoenix-based accountable care organization (ACO), plans to pilot a blockchain technology platform developed by Solve.Care with the aim of improving clinical outcomes, relieving healthcare’s administrative burdens, and reducing waste within the system.  

“There are so many inefficiencies in today’s healthcare system,” David Hanekom, M.D., CEO of Arizona Care Network, said in a statement. “We want to help patients get the information and care they need more quickly and ease the considerable administrative burden on our providers.”

The Arizona Care Network is comprised of more than 5,500 primary care and specialty physicians providing a broad range of clinical and care coordination services to adult and pediatric patients in Maricopa and Pinal counties.

ACN will go live with the Solve.Care platform in June; in phase one providers will use the Care.Wallet application to receive payments from ACN. Future phases will add new features for providers, such as reimbursement for healthcare delivery, and will expand the Care.Wallet to patients.

Solve.Care’s platform uses blockchain technology as well as cloud computing and cognitive learning capabilities to improve healthcare delivery and benefits administration. The platform uses a decentralized approach to deliver relevant information to the right party exactly when needed.

According to the press release, the platform will serve as the foundation for smart applications ACN will deploy throughout its network of 5,500 physicians and 250,000 patient members.

“Technology was supposed to streamline administrative systems to make healthcare safer and more efficient. But one of the biggest headaches for physicians is the necessity to use so many different technology solutions and none of them talk to each other, which delays updates, or misses them altogether. This can adversely affect patients and their health,” Ed Clarke, M.D., chief medical officer for CAN, said. “Practices have bought all these technology ‘solutions’ but they sometimes create more problems.”

The ACN platform created by Solve.Care will alleviate many of these problems associated with healthcare administration and reduce the wide range of functions required to administer health benefits in a more efficient and cost-effective manner, according to both organizations.

Largely used in the financial industry in the past, blockchain technology – a distributed ledger approach utilized in real-time transactions – has the potential to streamline healthcare administration.

The Solve.Care solution allows organizations to create, store, and share administrative and financial records via a network of personal devices that do not rely on a central entity to control the data. The Solve.Care platform updates all parties in the “chain” in real time. So doctors’ offices can use the application to check patient eligibility and benefits details, coordinate care across parties and locations, and eliminate delays in payer reimbursement.

Working with ACN advances Solve.Care’s mission to decentralize processes and delegate more authority to patients and physicians without losing control of cost and utilization, according to Pradeep Goel, the company’s CEO.

“The growth of blockchain technology is the paradigm shift in healthcare that will allow for true coordination of care administration. This enables organizations like ACN to have direct interaction among patients, insurers and providers,” he said. “Ultimately, this will help improve patient outcomes through more effective clinical coordination and reduce or eliminate the cost of duplication, inefficiency, waste, abuse and fraud from the system.”

 

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