In a new report, McKinsey & Company has credited Change Healthcare as one of the key emerging leaders in the healthcare blockchain arena. Entitled “Blockchain beyond the hype: What is the strategic business value?,” McKinsey’s article cites Change Healthcare’s early adoption of this innovative technology as the main reason for its status at the forefront of the sector.
McKinsey’s analysis comes after Change Healthcare announced the wide availability of its Intelligent Healthcare Network in January 2018. Marketed as the first enterprise-scale blockchain solution offered for the healthcare industry, the system is designed to allow healthcare organizations to track claims submissions and remittances across the lifecycle accurately and in real time. The enhanced security of Change Healthcare’s blockchain technology is aimed to allow greater traceability, auditability and trust within a healthcare organization’s revenue cycle management.
This use of blockchain technology to improve revenue cycle management was named by McKinsey as a strategy that defines Change Healthcare as a leader in the industry. The consulting giant advised that Change Healthcare stands as a model for innovation with blockchain, noting that companies like Change Healthcare “can start extracting value [from blockchain] in the short term” with “the right strategic approach.”
Change Healthcare’s Intelligent Healthcare Network and its use of blockchain technology come as additions to the healthcare IT company’s already broad portfolio of clinical information exchange solutions. The company sees great potential in the broader use of blockchain to improve patient experiences and lower costs. Neil de Crescenzo, president and CEO of Change Healthcare, states that the company is "excited to work with customers and partners on applying blockchain technology to improve how payers and providers interact and conduct business, starting with the revenue cycle and payment process."
One potential application that Change Healthcare is looking into developing is the use of blockchain as a single data source to accurately track a complete patient encounter from the initial visit through procedures to billing and payment. Change Healthcare’s Chief Technology Officer, Aaron Symanski, points out that blockchain is ideal for this function thanks to its “immutability” and “ability to make that visible to everyone involved in the encounter.” Looking to the future, de Crescenzo notes that Change Healthcare is planning to “continue to leverage blockchain and other technologies to develop additional applications that can make healthcare more patient-centric while addressing cost and quality."