Change Healthcare has launched what it's calling the first enterprise-scale blockchain network in healthcare. By using the distributed ledger technology, hospitals, physician practices and payers can longitudinally track the real-time status of claims submission and remittance using its Intelligent Healthcare Network.
Change uses Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 – an open-source blockchain framework hosted by The Linux Foundation – as the foundation for its blockchain app design and development in the network. The emerging technology enables improved transparency and efficiency, officials say, allowing for better auditability, traceability and trust.
It's a new approach to revenue cycle management, and one that Change officials said will offer the ever sought-after "single source of truth" and help drive innovation for care delivery and reimbursement.
"We are excited to work with customers and partners on applying blockchain technology to improve how payers and providers interact and conduct business, starting with the revenue cycle and payment process," said Neil de Crescenzo, president and CEO of Change Healthcare, in a statement.
While there are countless use cases for blockchain currently being piloted and experimented with across healthcare, de Crescenzo said Change's Intelligent Healthcare Network – which processes clinical, administrative and financial transactions across scores of healthcare organizations, including $2 trillion in claims each year – is able to "deploy blockchain at scale in addressing a highly administrative process, providing a launching pad for broad adoption."
The Intelligent Healthcare Network currently processes more up to 550 transactions per second through its blockchain applications, according to the company.
Change will continue to explore new areas where blockchain technology can leveraged to help lower costs, improve quality and make healthcare more patient-centric.
One of those areas, officials said, is to put blockchain to work in the tracking and visibility of data across the complete patient healthcare encounter – from check-in for a preoperative visit, through to the procedure and on to billing and payment.
"Not only could blockchain technology enable accurate tracking because of its immutability, the ability to make that visible to everyone involved in the encounter opens the door to create a more patient-centric experience and streamline processes, which benefits everyone," said Aaron Symanski, chief technology officer, Change Healthcare.