Applying blockchain technology in managing healthcare providers directories

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Summary

Synaptic Health Alliance joins leaders in healthcare to explore how blockchain technology can help address some of the toughest problems in healthcare. Synaptic’s members include Aetna, Ascension, Humana, MultiPlan, Optum, Quest Diagnostics, and UnitedHealthcare.In its first pilot project, announced in April 2018, Synaptic Health Alliance is tackling the high cost of healthcare provider data management, testing the premise that administrative costs and data quality can be improved by sharing provider data inputs and changes made by different parties across a blockchain.

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In its first pilot project, announced in April 2018, Synaptic Health Alliance is tackling the high cost of healthcare provider data management, testing the premise that administrative costs and data quality can be improved by sharing provider data inputs and changes made by different parties across a blockchain. 

The companies all agree this technology has the potential to collectively reduce operational costs while improving data quality, and they will collectively measure outcomes against this premise.

Synaptic’s first project seeks to determine if applying blockchain technology can help ensure the most current information about healthcare providers is available in the provider directories maintained by health insurers.

Federal regulations require insurers to maintain directories that contain up-to-date demographic information about physicians and other providers, such as name, address, specialty and phone number. Typically, each insurer maintains its own directory, which can be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. If the information in these directories is inaccurate, it can delay claim and payment processing and can lead to fines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Roughly $2.1 billion is spent annually across the healthcare system chasing and maintaining provider data. Still, a review completed last year by CMS found that 52 percent of provider directory locations listed had at least one inaccuracy.

This pilot will examine how sharing data across healthcare organizations on blockchain technology can improve data accuracy, streamline administration, reduce costs, and improve access to care.

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