Tampa Blockchain Innovation Challenge

Announcing the inaugural Tampa Blockchain Innovation Challenge!

Hashed Health and the Professional Credentials Exchange have partnered with Synapse and Blockspaces to develop this Challenge as a means of assisting members of the technical and innovation communities in central Florida to learn more about this rapidly emerging technology.  While blockchain has been largely associated with cryptocurrencies, a massive push is being made across virtually all industries to create applications leveraging this technology to transform value chains.  The healthcare industry is fraught with transactional friction in virtually every operational niche existing within the market.  Blockchain technology is poised to disrupt and transform a number of areas, such as practitioner identity and credentialing, claims and payment settlement, patient medical records, clinical trial data management, supply track/trace, and so on.   This Challenge will focus on creating a blockchain-based application demonstrating the collection and reporting of personal wellness data from IoT devices (e.g., pedometers, scales, fitness tracking apps)—providing sponsors of wellness programs (e.g., employers, health plans, trainers) with a simple and intuitive application to “visualize” the provenance and lifecycle of that data.

The challenge will be limited to teams of up to five members experienced in modern software engineering tools & techniques (e.g., UX, C++/#, Java, Python).   Blockspaces will be providing two 90-minute complimentary Ethereum/Solidity training courses at their location in South Tampa to all invited teams participating in the Challenge.   Thereafter, teams will be given several weeks to design and develop their applications and submit them for review.  On July 31, teams will present their solutions and a winner will be selected by a panel of blockchain experts.  The winning team will be awarded $3,000.00

Please share this note within your networks and with individuals you feel may be interested in participating.   Registration is open to teams from any type of organization (corporations, universities, meetup groups) whose members meet the requisite baseline technology experience.

Interested parties can apply directly within the Synapse platform here:  http://bit.ly/BlockchainChallenge .

Important Dates:

June 5 – Challenge Announcement

June 18 – Team Submission Deadline

June 19 – Training Session 1

June 26 – Training Session 2

July 20 – Solution Submission Deadline

July 31 – Presentations and Awards

Register Here

Blockchain Healthcare | Hashed Health

How Blockchain Will Transform Practitioner Credentialing

By: Anthony D. Begando

Credentialing is a complex, costly, and time-consuming process mandated throughout the healthcare industry to ensure that a practitioner can competently deliver (and be compensated for) patient care within a specific clinical setting.  Today, the process largely consists of organizations independently collecting, verifying, and analyzing information pertaining to an individual’s background and experience.  These artifacts include education, employment, and clinical assignment histories, licensure and certification histories, on-going training, insurance coverages, and the like.  While several accreditation bodies define guidelines for performing this work, it is the ultimate responsibility of a healthcare organization to define and follow their own internal processes that are both compliant with those guidelines and their own specific needs.   Consequently, most healthcare organizations redundantly perform this work for each practitioner with whom they seek some form of professional relationship.  It is common for practitioners to maintain independent credentials data sets with 15-25+ organizations (e.g., hospitals and health systems, payers, networks) concurrently.

In healthcare delivery environments, practitioner recruitment, staff appointment, and insurer contract enrollment processes often take 4-6 months to complete– with credentialing and payer enrollment weighing heavily on the process timeline.  In hospitals alone, is estimated that for every day a physician’s employment or contracting is delayed, the organization forfeits $7,500 in net revenues.  Further, as healthcare moves rapidly into expanding delivery models such as telemedicine, direct-to-consumer, and outpatient specialty care, credentialing-oriented delays are direct impedances to growth for many firms.

The emergence of enterprise-level blockchain technology creates a unique opportunity to address the cost, complexity, and timeframe associated with this work.  The fundamental reason why healthcare organizations repetitively and redundantly perform the collection and verification of credentials information is that there lacks a trusted and reliable forum to request and receive verified credentials information.  Blockchain will change that.  Through the establishment of a network connecting practitioners, primary sources, and consumers of credentials information, a utility can be created which captures credentialing transactional data and, where authorized, makes that data available for consumption by all other future requestors of that same information.  Recognizing that this greatly simplifies an often complex process driven by artifact types stemming from thousands of sources of information, consider the following simple example:  A cardiologist is employed by a hospital for five years.  She was appointed to the medical staff and awarded privileges to practice a defined set of clinical procedures relevant to her practice area.  She resigned, in good standing, and moved to another hospital in another state.  For the remainder of her career, every delivery system, payer, network, practice group, and the like for which she seeks a professional relationship with will independently request verification of this employment episode, her privileges, and her standing upon termination—likely resulting in scores or even hundreds of redundant requests for this employment verification.

A blockchain-based utility would record and confirm, on the first requested verification, the provenance (source) of the information, the information contained within the verification itself, the result of the verification, and a formulaic key confirming that the information has never changed from its initial issuance.  For example, Anne Smith (a NAMSS accredited credentialing specialist) from XYZ Hospital (a Joint Commission accredited hospital) provided the employment verification and privilege delineations for Dr. Monica Ortiz to Bill Jones from Big Payer (working at an NCQA accredited firm) who confirmed the verification.  The utility blockchain records and confirms the source and reliability of that data eternally.  As such, every future request for that information would leverage the initial verification and have no need to repetitively request that data from XYZ Hospital ad infinitim.  Similar processes could be employed for both publically available sources (e.g., licenses, certifications, OIG sanctions) of information and private enterprises.  In time, the vast majority of historically verified transactions could be disseminated to requesting organizations and substantially reduce the level of costly repetitive reverification that pervades the industry today.

The future of blockchain in healthcare is immense.  This particular use case presents an ideal opportunity to solve a years-old problem that affects nearly all aspects of the industry.