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New Healthcare Blockchain Effort to Ease Credentialing Burden

A new healthcare blockchain initiative has been launched to help ease the administrative burden of professional credentialing, a process that can require four to six months to complete.

healthcare blockchain

Source: Thinkstock

By Fred Donovan

- A new healthcare blockchain initiative has been launched to help ease the administrative burden of professional credentialing, a process that can require four to six months to complete.

The effort, called the Professionals Credentials Exchange, includes National Government Services, Spectrum Health, WellCare Health Plans, Accenture, and The Hardenbergh Group.   

Hospitals can forfeit an average of $7,500 in daily net revenues waiting for credentialing and payer enrollment processes to complete, according to a release from the new group. Most organization required to perform this work do it independently, which creates a significant administrative burden for practitioners.

The exchange will improve the efficiency of the process by facilitating the secure, trusted exchange of verified credentials between exchange members.

“A fundamental component of developing the exchange lays in building a network of members that bring significant verified credential datasets to the marketplace,” said ProCredEx Cofounder and CEO Anthony Begando.

ProCredEx, in partnership with Hashed Health, is developing and operating the Professional Credentials Exchange.

“These are the leading participants in a growing group of collaborators who bring data and implementation capabilities to accelerate the deployment and scaling of the exchange,” Begando added.

Improving the credentialing process was one of the areas identified by PwC where blockchain could have a disruptive impact on healthcare.

“A blockchain-enabled system would permit data relevant to the provider and payer credentialing process to be shared and updated in real time. Processes that take weeks or months could be accomplished in days,” the PwC report observed.

Other areas where healthcare blockchain could have a disruptive impact include supply chain management, contract administration, and data handling.

The report, A Prescription for Blockchain and Healthcare: Reinvest or be Reinvented, predicted that blockchain technologies would enable healthcare organizations to “reinvent” the way they access, collect, distribute, share, leverage, monitor, and audit data.

It warned that organizations that lag in their adoption of blockchain may lose out to those that employ the technology to reduce costs and boost efficiencies.

PwC advised healthcare organizations to identify where blockchain can improve operations and partner interactions and move quickly to implement projects.

Healthcare blockchain projects are already underway, so time is running out for organizations. According to a survey of global healthcare companies by PwC, close to half said they were developing, piloting, or implementing blockchain projects.  

“Healthcare organizations run on many complex, data-intensive, slow, manual processes often performed by intermediaries who handle data and trust mechanisms. Blockchain could simplify and automate these processes, in some cases saving companies weeks of effort, revenue and lost opportunities,” the report observed.

Blockchain technology is growing in popularity among healthcare organizations as they look for more secure and efficient ways to exchange information and conduct transactions with third parties.

Last year, a group of blockchain vendors and Fortune 500 companies met to discuss the need for collaboration to overcome the challenges facing blockchain and Internet of Things adoption.  

The group agreed that security, trust, identity, registration, and verification need to be key elements of any blockchain initiative.

“We called together leaders in blockchain, hardware, software, venture capital, technology, and finance to discuss the barriers to interoperability and security within IoT and how we can complement existing IoT platforms with a blockchain back-end,” said Skuchain Co-founder Zaki Manian. “We believe there is a real value proposition here for IoT, supply chain, and trade finance.”

BNY Mellon Head of Blockchain Alex Batlin stated: “What's missing today is a solution that provides trusted, tamper-proof guarantees for any title deed, public record, compliance event, or transaction, building on the way paper documents are used currently.”

Added BitSE CTO Patrick Dai: “If we want to secure the Internet of Things, we need to standardize how we identify, manage and communicate with internet enabled devices through blockchain technology. With a standardized protocol, more people will be able to share in these benefits.”

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