Nashville-based Change Healthcare today announced the first blockchain solution for enterprise-scale use in healthcare, according to its officials.
Change Healthcare CEO, Neil de Crescenzo, made the announcement during his keynote address at the Distributed: Health 2017 conference on Sept. 25th in Nashville, Tenn. He said the company is collaborating with customers and organizations such as The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project to make the benefits of blockchain technology broadly available and develop additional, advanced use cases.
As one of the largest independent healthcare IT companies in the U.S., Change Healthcare services customers across the continuum of care, using its Intelligent Healthcare Network to process 12 billion healthcare-related transactions covering over $2.0 trillion in claims annually. The new solution aims to enable payers and providers to boost revenue cycle efficiency, improve real-time analytics, cut costs, and create innovative new services, according to officials.
The Change Healthcare Intelligent Healthcare Network will support blockchain transactions by the end of this year. What’s more, customers and vendor partners will not have to develop new code, interfaces, or data formats. The company will employ Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, an open source blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation, as its foundation for blockchain application design and development.
Change Healthcare is already a premier member of the Hyperledger governing board, and will be contributing code innovations back to the open source community to improve blockchain applications for the U.S. and global healthcare industry. Further, the company recently announced that it has joined the Hashed Health consortium, a firm dedicated to realizing the potential of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.
In March, Change Healthcare and San Francisco-based McKesson announced the closing of their transaction to form a new healthcare technology company.
Blockchain, which is emerging more and more as a possible solution that could solve some of healthcare’s core problems such as interoperability and data security, was named a Top Tech Trend by Healthcare Informatics earlier this year. However, in that piece, experts also noted how blockchain technology could solve the problems of the industry such as claims cost management and contracting, as well. This seems to be the area in which Change Healthcare is focused.
“We are excited to work alongside our customers and partners to make blockchain real in healthcare,” de Crescenzo said in a statement. “As today’s healthcare system becomes more value-based, it’s essential that we aggressively and pervasively introduce new technologies into healthcare at scale—whether they leverage blockchain, artificial intelligence, or other emerging capabilities with the potential to improve outcomes and efficiencies. We are initially introducing blockchain technology to create a distributed ledger that makes claims processing and secure payment transactions work more efficiently and cost effectively for all healthcare stakeholders.”