Modern Healthcare: Will blockchain save the Healthcare System

 

Excerpt:  Read full article at Modernhealthcare.com


This is “the year where we are starting to understand which use cases can be solved now and which will take more time.”

John Bass | CEO | Hashed Health


The blockchain startups arrived first. Then came the big technology companies. And then the old guard—mostly health insurers, but also some large hospital systems—began individually trying out blockchain. Now they’re building out coalitions across the industry to create environments where they can share data and pilot projects on a larger scale. To start, they’re steering clear of handling sensitive data like personal health information and applying blockchain to solve challenges that are systemic across the sector but aren’t too risky or costly for the early adopters.

This is “the year where we are starting to understand which use cases can be solved now and which will take more time,” said John Bass, CEO of Hashed Health, a Nashville-based company that was one of the first to build blockchain solutions specifically for healthcare.

Bass said blockchain is best put to use when addressing problems of trust, transparency and incentive alignment, and the healthcare industry is full of such issues, he said. Others noted that blockchain will drive the most value when applied to healthcare processes that suffer from redundancies or require different sets of data to be reconciled.

The Hashed Health-backed Professional Credentials Exchange—which includes Michigan-based system Spectrum Health, Anthem subsidiary National Government Services and insurer WellCare Health Plans, among others—is deploying blockchain to streamline the complicated process of verifying providers’ credentials to practice in a certain clinical setting. It’s a redundant process, with multiple provider organizations gathering the same credential information for the same clinicians.

But blockchain technology will allow the members of a network to trade already verified practitioner credential information with one another, eliminating the need to spend the four to six months it takes to collect and validate that data independently, said Anthony Begando, CEO of the Professional Credentials Exchange, which plans to go live in mid-2019.

Excerpt:  Read full article at Modernhealthcare.com

Link to Original Post on Medium

DAML Driven Development:

Hashed Health

Guest post by Corey Todaro,

Chief Product Officer, Hashed Health

How do seasoned veterans at one of the world’s top provider of blockchain technology healthcare solutions rate DAML — Digital Asset’s smart contract modeling language for distributed ledger technology (DLT) — for solving core healthcare business problems? In this third of a series of guest blog posts by our partners, customers, and others working with the DAML SDK, Hashed Health’s Corey Todaro discusses how DAML is helping them bring their Signal Stream product to market.

Since 2016, Hashed Health has worked to introduce blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (“DLT”) to healthcare. Founded by and comprised of healthcare industry veterans, Hashed Health engages with enterprises from all corners of this diverse industry, ideating and building innovative distributed solutions to address healthcare’s long-standing issues. Hashed Health believes in the disruptive potential for DLT but knows that change within a highly regulated and complex industry like healthcare is challenging. Hashed Health rises to that challenge with thoughtful and strategic design. Our obsession is DLT use case design, balancing varied constraints and regulatory realities to produce DLT frameworks and platforms that meet the needs of diverse stakeholders — easing inefficiency and generating measurable business value for our clients.

Our design process has always been agnostic as to DLT platform selection. We’ve designed multiple prototypes on a variety of blockchain and DLT platforms in an effort to assess their ease of use for both developers and end-users. We’ve mapped a wide range of DLT options to problem classes commonly faced by our enterprise healthcare clients. The metaphor of a toolbox is apt — blockchain and DLT platforms comprise a toolbox which contains a variety of tools useful for addressing and tackling specific problems.

For every business or administrative challenge, there is a right tool to provide a solution. By early 2017, our design process had identified a missing but essential tool. As we worked to reimagine and redesign various business processes in healthcare, confidentiality and privacy were — and remain — essential requirements in any design. While nearly all enterprise-grade DLT platforms provide features for transactional confidentiality, these features at best resulted in over-complicated designs and at worse failed to meet the stringent privacy requirements of the industry. Put simply, we didn’t have the right tool for the problems before us.

In the spring of 2018, Hashed Health participated in the developer preview program for the DAML SDK and the Digital Asset Platform. The result was more than the simple addition of another platform to our design kit. Rather, DAML — Digital Asset’s modeling language for developing smart contracts — has become an indispensable tool, already serving as the foundation for our healthcare contracting platform, Signal Stream.

In our experience, DAML combines a set of features that make it not only distinct from other DLT platforms but also make it an ideal platform for innovative designs for the healthcare industry. It gives us the ability to do something we’ve not been able to do before with distributed ledger technology.

Language Matters

At the heart of the platform is DAML itself, a domain-specific modeling language used to create transactional templates that define counterparty and related third-party behavior. The majority of enterprise-focused DLT platforms offer the ability to create application logic that can operate on the ledger (so-called Smart Contracts). Developers usually employ a general-purpose programming language to develop these smart contracts. By contrast, DAML is specifically designed to model business and commercial agreements. The concepts of business are core structures of the language itself.

Built on a functional programming foundation, DAML can feel a little restrictive at first, limiting the approaches a developer can take to define a transaction. Indeed, our developers initially found it off-putting. However, within a few short days, we understood that these seeming limitations actually deliver great advantages. DAML is designed for formal correctness. In other words, contracts and transactions written in DAML operate precisely as expected — essential for business trust and value. On other DLT platforms, we need to decide how to best approximate a business interaction and constantly test to assure that the approximation behaves as required because, when you use a general-purpose language, the behavior of that contract can vary. The same input can potentially give a range of unexpected and undesirable outputs — the contract can behave in strange ways. With DAML there is no need to approximate. This led to more efficient use of our development resources.

Language matters; how you write the smart contract and what language you use to write the smart contract matters for the business performance of that contract.

Confidential by Design

One of the more difficult design problems with DLT is transparency of the ledger. Many DLT platforms bear a resemblance, or even a direct relationship, to the original cryptocurrency blockchain platforms. These early platforms were designed for radical transparency. This transparency is essential to both their operation in open, permissionless environments and their trustless, tamper-resistant nature. For enterprises, this transparency at best complicates and at worst limits the benefits of DLT. DLT platforms such as Hyperledger Fabric and Quorum (as well as other Ethereum derivatives) have introduced confidentiality features like private channels, private data collections, and hidden contracts, while still operating on transparent, yet permissioned, ledger networks. While important, these platform developments are secondary designs, often at odds with the original design intention of the platform itself. As a designer, I find these confidentiality schemes to be inelegant after-thoughts.

By contrast, DAML is confidential by design — transactional confidentiality in DAML is a first-class, first-order feature; it is not a secondary add-on. Transactions are only visible to direct counterparties and/or third parties who have been explicitly granted rights to view. Prior to DAML, Hashed Health’s design work was constrained to either ‘data sharing’ use cases in which privacy is not essential or to overly-complicated transactional data models which attempt to preserve privacy on an otherwise open ledger. DAML’s focus on privacy — an essential regulatory business requirement in the healthcare industry — has given us a powerful tool to extend our design and DLT product development. And because of DAML’s fine-grained control over what can be shared with other parties, we can bring in observers, auditors, regulators, third-party service providers — and control precisely what they see out of the transaction. Even if it’s a single piece of data.

Radically Scalable

In 2014, as the financial services and other industry began to consider DLT technology, the scale limitations of open and even permissioned DLT platforms quickly became apparent. Supporting scales of only a few dozen to at most a few thousand transactions per second, many DLT platforms are incapable of supporting the throughput requirements of enterprise workflows.

In healthcare, the needs don’t often approach those of financial markets. In fact, the old saying is that in healthcare, any process taking less than 30 days is ‘real-time’. But as DLT solution designs move from proof-of-concept to production, the problem of scalability is becoming acute. In 2018, Hashed Health has begun work on a number of solutions which require scales beyond the abilities of many DLT platforms. In the DA Platform and DAML, we have found a reliable DLT platform that can accommodate transactional scales achieving 27,000 financial trades per second (which translates to 81,000 ledger updates per second) — the highest I’ve seen. This radical scalability has allowed us to begin designs to address the core payment infrastructure in healthcare — including fee-for-service claims processing, risk-based payment contracts, and other health plan and pharmaceutical financial workflows.

Our new DAML driven product: Signal Stream

Building on our experience with DAML, Hashed Health has recently announced a new healthcare contracting platform, Signal Stream. Built atop the DA Platform and DAML, Signal Stream enables clients to automate multi-party agreements and create an outcomes-based contract adjudication and management platform. This shared performance view is real-time and synchronized through a distributed ledger contractual engine. Addressable areas of healthcare include value- or risk-based contracts, procurement contracting, pharmaceutical rebates and outcomes-based payments and health plan administration. The platform works to:

  • Reduce administrative burden related to value-based contract automation;
  • Delineate value creation within agreements;
  • Offer real-time tracking of contract performance;
  • Achieve counterparty consensus regarding performance against contract value metrics and benchmarks.

DAML represents an essential innovative platform design, enabling enterprises to harness DLT within the business frameworks and realities of enterprises today. Hashed Health is excited to partner with DA to realize the promise of DLT for the healthcare industry.

Follow Digital Asset on Medium or Twitter, or join the community and register to download the DAML SDK Developer Preview at www.daml.com.

About the author

Corey Todaro, Chief Product Officer, Hashed Health

Corey Todaro is CPO of Hashed Health. Hashed Health is a healthcare innovation firm focused on accelerating the meaningful development of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. Corey is at the forefront of blockchain and distributed ledger designs for the healthcare industry. He brings to Hashed Health experience in venture capital investing in the health IT space as well as a wealth of operational experience in large national health systems with a focus on the challenges of healthcare payment innovation.

About Hashed Health

Hashed Health delivers to payers, providers, and suppliers real technical blockchain product solutions focused on decreasing the cost of care and reducing the administrative inefficiencies. We offer strategic services to accelerate blockchain adoption and product development across the healthcare industry by providing subject matter expertise and strategic advisory services to innovative organizations looking to create new networks and redefine business models leveraging blockchain/distributed ledger technology.

HealthLink Dimensions Joins ProCredEx Design Partner Program

Atlanta, GA – HealthLink Dimensions a healthcare care data organization that has been in business for eighteen years, with a focus on aggregating and verifying HCP master data has announced they will join the Professional Credentials Exchange (ProCredEx) Design Partner Program.

The partners in the ProCredEx initiative are working together to address the challenges in gathering and maintaining verified practitioner credential information.  The platform represents a new business model for acquiring verified credentials, enabled by advanced data science, artificial intelligence, and distributed ledger technologies.

“We are delighted to have HealthLink Dimensions join our Partner Program.  Their firm brings both significant amounts of highly reliable provider data and the ability to provide exchange members with on-going maintenance of expirable credentials information such as licenses, certifications, affiliations, and DEA queries,” states Anthony D. Begando, ProCredEx’s CEO.

On a monthly basis, HealthLink Dimensions accesses over 250 different sources of data including several CMS datasets, ABMS, DEA, and State Licensure data acquired directly from primary sources.  The firm’s proprietary algorithms weigh, rate and verify this information for over 2.7 million healthcare providers.  Further, HealthLink Dimensions has unique access to provider demographic data feeds from over 120 PPO networks and numerous insurance claim streams.

“In addition to serving our existing base of health plans, networks, and practice management firms, the Professional Credentials Exchange will reduce the friction related to delivering our verified data to virtually any member of the healthcare industry.  We are excited about helping to bring this new utility to market,” said Kevin Guthrie, HealthLink Dimension’s CEO.

HealthLink Dimensions joins previously announced members (Launch Announcement) in the growing partner program.

 

About ProCredEx LLC

ProCredEx, in partnership with Hashed Health, is developing and operating the Professional Credentials Exchange as a secure and reliable method for trading verified credentials information between disparate healthcare organizations.  The exchange leverages advanced data science, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technologies to greatly simplify the acquisition and verification of information related to professional credentialing and identity.  For more information, please visit www.procredex.com and www.hashedhealth.com .

About HealthLink Dimensions

HealthLink Dimensions provides healthcare data solutions to healthcare and life science organizations to improve master data management, compliance and marketing initiatives. Leveraging the largest multi-sourced database of active practicing healthcare professionals, HealthLink Dimensions develops customized data solutions to help clients reach their target audience, enrich their business data, optimize claims processing, meet compliance requirements and solve master data quality problems. Based in Atlanta, GA, HealthLink Dimensions is one of America’s fastest-growing private companies on the Inc. 5000 list, one of Atlanta’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™, and a National Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ winner.  www.healthlinkdimensions.com

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Read the Newswire Release here: HEALTHLINK DIMENSIONS JOINS PROCREDEX DESIGN PARTNER PROGRAM

Forbes – The Latest In Blockchain In Healthcare

 

Last week I had the honor of kicking off the third annual Distributed Health conference in Nashville, which brought together leaders in healthcare as well as blockchain innovators from across the nation. All were united by the shared belief that blockchain has transformative potential for health and healthcare, with changes already underway.

Blockchain is more than a technology that has enabled the much-hyped Bitcoin. It is a transactional ledger that records the movement of anything of value—currency, records, contracts, supplies—between parties. It is unique because it is a distributed ledger, which means multiple parties can hold copies of the ledger that are continuously synched, taking out inefficiencies in the transaction process. And, most importantly, it is highly secure and generally cannot be changed without the agreement of all parties to the ledger. The Economist magazine has called blockchain “a machine for creating trust,” allowing “people who have no particular confidence in each other [to] collaborate without having to go through a neutral central authority.”

Read the full article here: Forbes – The Latest In Blockchain In Healthcare: Top Takeaways From Distributed Health

 

HITInfrastructure-New Healthcare Blockchain Effort to Ease Credentialing Burden

 

A new healthcare blockchain initiative has been launched to help ease the administrative burden of professional credentialing, a process that can require four to six months to complete.

By Fred Donovan

 – A new healthcare blockchain initiative has been launched to help ease the administrative burden of professional credentialing, a process that can require four to six months to complete.

The effort, called the Professionals Credentials Exchange, includes National Government Services, Spectrum Health, WellCare Health Plans, Accenture, and The Hardenbergh Group.

Hospitals can forfeit an average of $7,500 in daily net revenues waiting for credentialing and payer enrollment processes to complete, according to a release from the new group. Most organization required to perform this work do it independently, which creates a significant administrative burden for practitioners.

Read full article here: HITInfrastructure – New Healthcare Blockchain Effort to Ease Credentialing Burden

HEALTHLEADERS: BLOCKCHAIN VENTURE PARTNERS WITH SPECTRUM, WELLCARE TO TACKLE CREDENTIALING

ANALYSIS

BLOCKCHAIN VENTURE PARTNERS WITH SPECTRUM, WELLCARE TO TACKLE CREDENTIALING

BY STEVEN PORTER     NOVEMBER 12, 2018

 

The goal is to reduce the time and cost associated with verifying professional credentials by facilitating the secure exchange of verified information among members.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • WellCare Health Plans and Spectrum Health are among five organizations involved in the pilot.
  • The program is a blockchain-powered credentialing information exchange that aims to save time and money.
  • The company, ProCredEx, is looking to expand and diversify its partners program.

Anyone in the healthcare industry who provides patient care or pays for it knows that credentialing for healthcare professionals can be a pain, often taking up to six months. That’s the problem a blockchain-based pilot project said it aims to solve in partnership with major health plans and providers.

WellCare Health Plans, which serves about 5.5 million members, and Spectrum Health, a 12-hospital nonprofit system in western Michigan, are among the five organizations participating in the distributed-ledger program, the companies announced last week.

See full article here: HEALTHLEADERS: BLOCKCHAIN VENTURE PARTNERS WITH SPECTRUM, WELLCARE TO TACKLE CREDENTIALING

Fierce Healthcare – Provider Credentialing

Two national insurers and a Michigan health system are joining a new pilot project aimed at simplifying physician credentialing with blockchain technology.

WellCare and Spectrum Health are among the founding participants in a pilot project launched by ProCredEx, a new company backed by Hashed Health, which specializes in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies for healthcare.

National Government Services, an Anthem-owned federal contractor that processes Medicare claims for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has also joined the pilot program alongside The Hardenberg Group and Accenture.