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Healthcare executives are preparing for blockchain’s move into the mainstream — 49% of global healthcare companies are piloting blockchain projects, per PwC’s 2018 Global Blockchain survey. While the survey was limited to 74 healthcare companies, other evidence also supports that blockchain is poised to have an outsize role in healthcare.
For example, 63%of healthcare executives at large global provider and health insurance companies say they’re planning to invest more than $1 million in blockchain over the next calendar year, per a 2018 Deloitte survey.
And blockchain’s a logical fit for healthcare — the distributed ledger tech could help overcome issues with data fragmentation, as well as improve transparency, security, and interoperability of patient data sharing.
We see healthcare payments as a sector in which blockchain could have a transformative impact.
- The current healthcare payment process is overly complex and lacks transparency. The typical healthcare transaction involves at least three exchanges, not including those made from patients to payers to continue health plan coverage. And 77% of healthcare providers still use paper-based patient billing methods, according to an MGMA and Navicure survey.
- Inefficiencies in healthcare payments drag on provider and payer profits. The US healthcare industry could save more than $11 billion annually by streamlining claims processing, $9.5 billion of which would go to health systems.
- Distributed ledger technology is well suited for financial transactions. A plurality ( 46%) of executives believe financial services is the sector blockchain’s most advanced in. And models developed around transactions in financial services could potentially be replicated in healthcare payments.
- Blockchain companies have a strong incentive to move into healthcare — and they’re already doing so. With over $3 trillion in annual payments, the US healthcare industry is one of the largest opportunities globally for blockchain companies. Blockchain companies have already locked into partnerships with US health systems like Mass General Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, and Mount Sinai in the past year.