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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Some Advice As To The First Steps In Deploying Blockchain Technology In Health.

This appeared a few days ago:

Thinking of trying a blockchain project? Here are some must-do first steps

As healthcare organizations start to dip their toes in the waters of distributed ledger technology, the COO of Hashed Health offers advice about doing it right.
March 19, 2018 10:12 AM
Blockchain is no longer the far-out and inscrutable mystery it once was. More and more healthcare professionals are starting to understand how it works – and how it can work for them.
"They're beginning to understand the technical questions around it, which is fundamentally about shared infrastructure," said Corey Todaro, chief operating officer at Nashville, Tennessee-based blockchain company Hashed Health.
At its core, blockchain is about networks: "Enterprises jointly share and operate transactional infrastructure, and they do so for a value proposition," Todaro explained at HIMSS18.
So the more healthcare organizations that decide the distributed ledger technology might be right for them – whether for claims processing, credentialing or other work – the more those networks will grow and the faster blockchain will catch on across healthcare.
But it's worth doing some hard thinking before diving deep into such a new way of doing business. After all, that dynamic means that hospitals essentially surrender a certain amount of control over the infrastructure such that the value proposition of real-world use cases must be very clear. 
"We're convinced that there are revenue streams and business models that are enabled by using blockchain that are not possible using current client-server architecture," said Todaro. "But it takes some understanding to articulate what those are."
Consider provider credentialing, and healthcare's ongoing attempts to solve that "pain-filled and fractured process. Driving efficiencies in the way provider credentials are validated could have a direct ROI for hospitals and payers, said Todaro. "We calculate about $7,500 a day in deferred net revenue per doctor that you take to credential them. Over 100 days, that's a lot of money."
Blockchain is well-positioned to help. The challenge comes from multiple sources of data, some that don't have a primary source associated with it. Meanwhile, there's a regulatory structure that requires biennial vetting, re-credentialing and other duplicative work centered around phone calls and faxes.
"Blockchain can take that employment verification form and create a transactional layer that tracks that artifact and prove mathematically that it was created by the primary source," said Todaro, through what's called a public-private key pair. "In addition, we can hash that artifact – create a unique digital fingerprint of that data – on the blockchain transaction," to prove it came from the original source and is fundamentally unaltered."
Credentialing is a great use case to start with because it's a well-known problem and a pain point for both sides of the payer-provider divide across the industry.
But that doesn't mean payers and providers are ready to take the leap, said Todaro.
"When I show people, they begin to get it, the new economic dynamics that can take place, but they recognize that this is something very forward looking, that does not fit the current framework of how we do things in healthcare," he said.
In the meantime, those health organizations looking to see what early blockchain projects might do for them should keep some things in mind. Todaro offered four bits of advice to ensure optimal exploration of this new way of doing business.
Detailed advice on the steps take here:
Not being an expert, I just pass this on as food for thought!
David.

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