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IBM’s collaborative blockchain-based healthcare initiative gets two new members

Tue, 19 Feb 2019, 06:29 am UTC

Tech giant IBM has announced that Cigna and Sentara Healthcare have joined the recently announced blockchain initiative focused on the healthcare industry.

Last month, Aetna, Anthem, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), PNC Bank, and IBM, teamed up to develop a blockchain-based network which will benefit various stakeholders of the healthcare ecosystem in a highly secure, shared environment.

The key objective is to enable organizations to build, share and deploy solutions using blockchain to drive digital transformation in the industry. The partnering members are working together to explore how they can leverage blockchain technology to address a range of industry challenges, including promoting efficient claims and payment processing, enabling secure and frictionless healthcare information exchanges, and ways to maintain current and accurate provider directories.

"We came together to create the health utility network realizing the need to improve transparency and interoperability in the industry in order to improve healthcare for all Americans," said Rajeev Ronanki, chief digital officer of Anthem. "Engaging additional members across partner levels and industry perspectives will increase the network's reach and ability to deliver high value solutions."

Cigna and Sentara Healthcare are now joining the initiative as founding members.

Mark Boxer, executive vice president and chief information officer, Cigna, said that blockchain technology could improve the way to harness insights across the health care ecosystem to better serve customers and communities.

“By working together, and joining the health utility network as a founding member, we have a significant opportunity to create new efficiencies that will lead to improved whole person health and wellness outcomes for our customers and clients,” Boxer said.

According to the official release, IBM and PNC are currently working on a way to use blockchain to create shared efficiencies, drive adoption of bundled payments as a reimbursement mechanism, and help improve the value of care. The two organizations are scheduled to demonstrate the solution during the HIMSS Conference.

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