Healthcare Infomatics Blockchain Discussion – MultiPlan – ProCredEx – Hashed Health – C3

In Nashville, a Candid Discussion of the Potential for Blockchain in Healthcare

July 10, 2018

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What are the realistic prospects for the adoption of blockchain technologies in U.S. healthcare? The opportunities exist, but so do seemingly countless complexities. On June 28 at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown, experts and innovators around blockchain shared their perspectives on the subject, during the Health IT Summit in Nashville, sponsored by Healthcare Informatics.

Giles Ward, COO of Hashed Health, a Nashville-based “healthcare innovation firm focused on accelerating the meaningful development of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies,”led the panel discussion, entitled “Use Cases for Blockchain in Healthcare.” He was joined by David Murtagh, vice president of operations, provider data management, at MultiPlan, a New York City-based company that “helps healthcare payers manage the cost of care, improve their competitiveness and inspire positive change”; he was also joined by Anthony Begando, CEO of the Nashville-based Professional Credentials Exchange, or ProCredEx, which provides systemic professional credentials verification services; and by Jeanine Martin, nurse advocate and clinical information leader at C3 Global Biosciences, Inc., a Las Vegas-based research firm involved in cannbidiol (CBD; medical marijuana) development and distribution.

Ward began by asking Murtagh about his perspectives on the research and development work done on blockchain in healthcare in the past two years. “Two years is actually a long timeframe to look back on,” Murtagh said. “We’re fortunate enough, because of the relationships we have, most of the partners are relatively small. United, United Health Group. Optum, Humana, and Quest Diagnostics, collaborative. There’s a relationship factor. United might have a really good relationship with a set of providers, that we don’t have. It’s not like there are certain provider groups out there that say we’re going to shun certain health plans. I believe that the real trigger for this industry to collaborate and use a technology like B that’s relatively unproven, has been driven by regulations. CMS started auditing provider directories of health plans, and for the commercial health plans, CMS has delegated the requirements to the states for audit requirements. And every state has done something different.”

 

Read the full article here: Healthcare Infomatics

June 2018 Nashville Blockchain Meetup – MultiPlan

 

The June 2018 Nashville Blockchain Meetup was an encapsulation of everything that makes the time and energy invested in Meetups worth while.  In partnership the Health IT Summit Series the Nashville Blockchain Meetup and all conference attendees were invited to an informal discussion at the Nashville Technology Council about the recently announced healthcare blockchain pilot program involving Optum, United HealthcareQuest Diagnostics, Humana, and MultiPlan.   As we await the release of the much anticipated whitepaper, details have been hard to come by,  so were thrilled to welcome David Murtagh who serves as  MultiPlan’s Vice President of Operations over Provider Data Management.  David offered a grounded, non-technical look at Multiplan’s approach to the technology, why they chose to participate, and the challenges of convening a network among industry peers and sometimes competitors.   Provider directory management is a fluid and complex.  He gave estimates drawn from their 2.5 million provider entries showing that 2-3% of the data changes every month which compounds to almost 50% of the data in a given directory turning over every 18 months.

At Hashed Health, we have long seen Provider Directories as a perfect early use case for blockchain – the data is unregulated and non-competitive.  For HIMSS 2017, we built a provider directory prototype on an early release of Fabric as a working example of what was possible with blockchain.   Relate-able  use cases and networks of known players are key as the industry looks for reasons to say yes to blockchain – this project is exactly that.

We are grateful for our partnership with Richard Tomko and Stephen McCollum at Healthcare Infomatics for bringing David Murtagh and Multiplan to Nashville for the events.  Please listen to the audio or watch the video of the meetup below.

 

 

See the article in Forbes:  “United Healthcare, Optum, Humana, MultiPlan and Quest Diagnostics launch blockchain provider director pilot

 

Audio Podcast of Meetup:

Video Recording of Meetup (sorry about the back lighting)


@MeetupNashville

@HCInformatics

 

 

Making the Healthcare System Work

Blockchain has been touted as a way to track diamonds or even prevent counterfeit goods — and the hype has spread to health care.

A blockchain is essentially a database in the form of what’s called a distributed ledger. That is, information is distributed across a network of participants. The participants can see activity on the ledger, but no single party controls it. Once data is in the blockchain, it can’t be changed. New information is timestamped and linked to the previous entries, making the blockchain auditable and secure.

Blockchain is probably best known as the technology that supports bitcoin, but its potential goes well beyond cryptocurrency. Innovators see promise in using a trusted, shared database of transactions for payments and money transfers, records and verification, to reduce risk and fraud.

The technology, while still evolving, is becoming mature enough that some states have announced that blockchain would be treated similarly to existing electronic record systems. This development should encourage broader acceptance of blockchain applications.

Steve Betts, chief information officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, explains why health care innovators are excited about blockchain.

 

The perfect fit

Some experts also believe blockchain has the potential to revolutionize health care.

“The reason all the hype is there is because if it works, if it’s true — if half of it is true — it has the potential to fundamentally change market structures and the movement of value,” says John Bass, founder and CEO of Hashed Health, a company focused on solving problems in health care with blockchain technology.

“There’s so much potential to improve how care is delivered and paid for, and that’s got everyone very, very excited,” Bass says. “Part of what’s driving all the cost and quality problems is fundamental issues around trust, transparency and sense of alignment.”

That’s because the health care industry has so many different parties — insurers, doctors, hospitals, consumers and more.

These groups have their own data, and it’s often a struggle to share accurate, up-to-date information in a secure way. That’s what blockchain was designed to do.

And innovators are taking notice. More blockchain initiatives are focused on health care than any other sector, according to a report from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Bass is particularly excited about blockchain’s potential to shift the health care industry toward true value-based care — paying for care that improves patients’ well being and rewarding physicians for quality instead of the quantity of services they provide.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: LINK

Tipping Point: The Transformation of America’s Healthcare System

We are accelerating towards a healthcare financial crisis in the US.  For many families, it’s already here. In the last 10 years, US healthcare prices are up 22% (vs 17% for the general economy). US Healthcare expenditures are up 45% (vs 28% for the general economy). We have institutionalized a dangerous marketplace known for a lack of competition, obscure pricing and contracting, high administrative costs, and the consumer’s willingness to pay without asking questions or having answers.

The winners have leveraged the current design to profit in an irrational market.  Pricing variation, over-consumption and administrative waste are all someone’s profit margin.  These companies are emboldened by the infrastructure-heavy business processes that persist in healthcare.  These models rely on centralization of data and business models that aggregate and leverage consumer data for profit.

This will not continue another ten years.  The government, employers and patient customers are at a breaking point.  There is a crisis of confidence in foundational healthcare systems. There will be a dramatic shift, either forced or voluntary.

In March, Alex Azar of the HHS outlined his policy that focuses on empowering patients with their data, transparent pricing, value-based market structures, and removing government influences that impede value-based health. He told the Federation of American Hospitals, “There is no turning back to an unsustainable system that pays for procedures rather than value. In fact, the only option is to charge forward — for HHS to take bolder action, and for providers and payers to join with us. This administration and this President are not interested in incremental steps. We are unafraid of disrupting existing arrangements simply because they’re backed by powerful special interests.”

In response to these pressures we have discovered a potential answer.  Recently entrepreneurs and incumbents in the healthcare industry have embarked on an inviting new conversation that has the potential to, over time, fundamentally change our healthcare delivery model.  A growing community sees the chance of a lifetime to improve how healthcare is accessed, delivered and paid for. Work is underway to transform delivery through the convergence of healthcare blockchain, IoT, AI, machine learning, mobile devices, telehealth and precision medicine.  This technology cocktail leverages a disruptive combination of trust, transparency, behavioral economics, big data and automation. The hope is that we may enable the restructuring of inefficient, ineffective, corporate-focused value chains in healthcare.  Doing so could change the market structure under the feet of healthcare companies around the world.

Blockchain provides the foundation for this change.  Most people see blockchain as a new technology, often referred to as the “Internet of Value.”  What most people don’t understand is that its power for value-transfer disruption lies in the enablement of new business models and the blockchain’s ability to embed belief systems in to the software itself.  This combination of open source technology innovation, business model innovation and governance innovation makes it challenging to get right, yet potentially very rewarding for those who use it effectively.

Most people have not spent the time and energy to fully understand the convergence that is happening.  It takes a lot of work to fully understand the opportunities presented when you bring together new business models, new technical models and new governance structures.

With all the hype, it’s healthy to be skeptical.  Whether or not you believe in the technology, you have to admit that emergence of blockchain is creating an amazing opportunity to collaborate in new ways.  Collaboration begins with communication around ideas.  These ideas represent a refreshing new conversation in healthcare. It gives us a chance to imagine a world where we can stop repeating the mistakes of the past and stop repeating the same conversations around the obstacles that stand in the way of empowering patients, transparency, interoperability, value, and irrational market forces in healthcare.

For good reason healthcare is resistant to change.  Transformation won’t be easy.  In fact, it has never been done before. It will require us to shift our paradigm from a model that rewards the centralized business models that underpin many of the largest healthcare companies today.  It will require us to double-down on the shift from volume to value.  It will ask us to trust software protocols where we formerly trusted companies and middle-men.

In return, we can expect to see new ecosystems in healthcare arise that are in line with the needs of patients, employers and other communities.  These ecosystems will center around new types of market structures that provide more efficient access to health resources.  These new markets hold the promise of rationality and transparency.  Consumers can make choices based on information, cost, and a seller’s reputation for delivering value.  Innovative offerings can be listed on new exchanges by innovative sellers that reflect the needs of innovative buyers like the VA or Amazon, JP Morgan, and Berkshire Hathaway.

To succeed, we will use a variety of new distributed and decentralized protocols that embody the belief systems of their creators who come together around solving the industry-level problems borne of centralization. These parties (new and old) have already begun to collaborate and offer an alternative to healthcare’s current value chains that keep us locked in 1990’s-era pipelined processes where rent-seeking rules the day.  We are already building ground-up economies that use programmable value transfer to automatically respond to behavior, quality and outcomes.  We will no longer need to depend on infrastructure (ex. claims) that is not designed to support the important relationship between cost and quality.

The winning innovators will differentiate themselves based on trust, value and collaboration.  Across the globe, “minimally viable networks” are coming together to test production systems that solve old problems in new ways.  The early use cases focus on physician identity, patient identity, claims adjudication, consent, supply chain and payments.

Experts will tell you it’s just a matter of time.  It will happen network-by-network over the next ten years or so.  The decentralizing forces that have been unleashed cannot be held back.  Hiding from these realities is akin to hiding from the internet in 1999, but even more dangerous.  In the 90’s we were changing the container of the flow of information. Today we are changing the container of the movement of value and digital assets.  That’s a much bigger story that could shift the landscape in dramatic ways.  There will be companies who ignore the shifting market structures under their feet, possibly resulting in a new corporate extinction event in a relatively short period of time.

That might be what it takes to right-size a system that has outlived its design.  It also just might be our only viable alternative to the next US financial crisis.

John Bass is the Founder & CEO of Hashed Health, a healthcare innovation firm that focuses on using blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to solve unmet needs in healthcare.

Health Innovators: Let’s Get Practical, Blockchain in Healthcare

By NINA TALLEY, MedSpeaks

When it comes to blockchain in healthcare, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) dominate the conversation. The need to secure and move this highly sensitive data has long been a bottleneck in healthcare. Healthtech futurists are looking hungrily at burgeoning blockchain and related technologies as a part of the solution to this time-consuming problem. But are we truly there yet?

“Dreams of interoperability and self-sovereign medical records are nothing new,” said John Bass, CEO of Hashed Health, a healthcare innovation firm focused on developing meaningful utilization of blockchain technologies and networks. “It’s understandable that the big, disruptive blockchain use cases have captured the world’s imagination. The blockchain certainly provides an exciting new framework for these solutions. But we have to figure out how to get from here to there.”

Read the full article here: Health Innovators: Let’s Get Practical, Blockchain in Healthcare

 

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 CPO of Hashed Health offers advice about doing it right. By Mike Miliard March 19, 2018 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 […]

Nashville Business Journal: Big names, big money say this is health care’s next big thing

By   – Reporter, Nashville Business Journal

Twelve billion health care-related transactions. $2 trillion in claims. $1.58 billion in annual revenue.

That’s what Change Healthcare CEO Neil de Crescenzo is entrusting to an emerging technology that some say will change the way business is conducted in ways not seen since the internet debuted.

You may have heard of blockchain, a technology that got its start in the financial world as a way to protect data. But few people outside of tech circles know how it actually works, why it’s a big deal or that Nashville power players like Change Healthcare see real potential in using the technology for health care records and transactions.

In Nashville, there’s a growing number of startups that have raised millions of dollars from investors like Charlie Martin. They’re working to build a blockchain community through conferences, magazines and digital media. Local blockchain gatherings, lucky to attract 20 attendees just months ago, are now filled with hundreds of tech enthusiasts and business leaders alike.

Established titans like Change and HCA Healthcare Inc. also are using and testing the technology.

Read More…. (article is behind a pay wall at Nashville Business Journal, available to subscribers)

Read more

Professional Credentials Exchange Announcement

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

Hashed Heath Launches Professional Credentials Exchange to Help Reduce the Costs and Complexities of Provider Identity and Credentialing Processes

NASHVILLE, TN. – March 6, 2018 – Hashed Health, a leading healthcare blockchain innovation company focused on building the new digital infrastructure for healthcare, today announced the launch of the Professional Credentials Exchange.  The Exchange intends to provide the market with a solution to address the effort, cost, redundancy, and complexity of obtaining and verifying practitioner identity and credentialing information.

Leveraging blockchain technology, the Professional Credentials Exchange will allow counterparties to define and exchange identity and credentials assets using the data, rules, and validation checks applicable to their specific organizational requirements.  Further, blockchain technology assures the provenance, accuracy, and immutability of information within the exchange—substantially reducing the time, cost, and effort healthcare organizations spend performing the redundant collection and verification of this information.  The Exchange represents new digital infrastructure which integrates with a wide range of workflow tools and data sources that currently exist in the market.

“This transformative approach solves existing challenges facing provider credentialing,” said John Bass, Hashed Health CEO.  “Over the past year, we have received feedback from the industry indicating that improving the accuracy and accessibility of credentialing information is an ideal opportunity for blockchain technology to address a costly, complex, industry-wide problem.”

Credentialing is a mandated process that intends to ensure the clinical competency of a healthcare practitioner.  All organizations that provide, compensate, or support healthcare delivery must credential practitioners prior to their employment or contracting.  The process often takes several months to complete and is largely impeded by a lack of reliable, verified information available to those performing this work.  Delays in physician credentialing within hospitals alone result in forfeitures of net revenue averaging an estimated $7,500 per day.  The Exchange will allow practitioners and those parties requiring credentials information to access and acquire this data with greater efficiency and confidence in its sourcing and accuracy.

To learn more about Hashed Health and its new Professional Credentials Exchange visit www.ProCredEx.com or visit the Hashed Health booths (9900 51,52,53) at the HIMSS 2018 Conference March 5th-8th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

About Hashed Health

Hashed Health is a healthcare innovation company leading the design, development and productive use of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. Hashed Health partners with public and private sector clients to collaboratively develop solutions and networks that solve health delivery challenges. Hashed Health’s mission is to create new shared value systems for individuals and communities of health through a variety of enterprise and consumer-focused projects. More information can be found at http://www.hashedhealth.com/ or by emailing join@hashedhealth.com. To join the global healthcare blockchain conversation, go to https://chat.hashedhealth.com.

About Professional Credentials Exchange (ProCredEx)

The Professional Credentials Exchange provides digital infrastructure for the credentialing of professionals in the healthcare field. Using blockchain technology, organizations use ProCredEx to streamline the process of offering and consuming practitioner identity data elements.  For more information, visit www.procredex.com or email Anthony Begando at abegando@hashedhealth.com.

 

Contact:

Giles Ward

Hashed Health

gward @hashedhealth.com

 

 

Dubai leapfrog: the UAE’s opportunity to advance health & wellness

Hashed Health’s CEO, John Bass, was honored recently to be asked to speak about healthcare blockchain (specifically remote patient monitoring / wellness) in Dubai at  HIMSS Middle East / Health 2.0 UAE eHealth week. We departed there hopeful that their leaders do realize the amazing opportunity to not re-create our broken system.

The US has good healthcare for most people. It also has expensive/bloated/centralized infrastructure, unsustainable costs, and massive variability in quality for all people. We were a little surprised and a bit concerned when we walked in to HIMSS Middle East and saw EMR-heavy agenda and the traditional vendors in full swing.

The lead sponsors of the event were Cerner, Epic, IBM, Intersystems and Vocera. The day one agenda was purely focused on EMR staging and Health Information Exchanges. The conference started by awarding three local hospitals who had reached the EMRAM Stage 6 EMR adoption. The following presentations on day one included:

  • Vision & Value of Health Information Exchange,
  • The Tipping Point for EMR Adoption in the GCC,
  • Mediclinic’s Experience in Engaging Clinicians in the EMR Selection Process,
  • Clinician Engagement & Productivity at American Dubai Hospital.

For a healthcare technology leader from the US who has attended many HIMSS events, these awards and presentations sounded very familiar. Stage 6 is indeed an incredible accomplishment. It has come with a financial cost and a clinical burden. Clinician affinity for these systems seems to be on par with what we’ve seen in the US (not great). While we are really amazed at the many accomplishments, we also worried that members of the GCC were too closely following in the footsteps of the US system.

But then something cool happened. Outside the auditorium we met with the visionaries. Outside the auditorium we stopped talking about the present and started talking about the future. After talking with leaders at Dubai Health Authority, the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi, the Ministry of Health Saudi Arabia and other regional leaders, we do believe they understand their opportunity is much greater than the stage of their EMR implementation. We were very impressed by the expertise and the strategic vision of the community with whom we were interacting. We found diversity of thought that was refreshing. Outside the auditorium we found why we had traveled all that way.

Our lessons-learned serve as a valuable reference point for countries in the Middle East looking to leapfrog. Future-focused conversations on value-based care, integrated delivery systems, telemedicine, and blockchain / decentralization have an audience at the right levels. We are hopeful, because we sense an attempt to place these strategies on equal footing with the EMR / HIE agenda we have struggled with here in the US.

The UAE has an opportunity to do it better than we have in the US. It is our hope that in doing so, the leadership in the Emirates and Saudi Arabia realize the tremendous opportunity to show the world what real value-based, consumer-focused, sustainable delivery of healthcare looks like.