The healthcare supply chain is a vast and lumbering colossus. Healthcare is an industry worth more than 1-trillion dollars and its supply chain has been historically riddled with fraud followed by higher costs for providers and consumers alike.
Recently, Law360 reported that 6 more individuals were sentenced for their role in a 175-million dollar insurance fraud scheme.
Healthcare is a necessity for long living among the majority of the population, but most people consider it too expensive, too time-intensive, or too
How does fraud occur in the healthcare supply chain?
Fraud is not an uncommon term in the medical supply chain. From insurance to Medicare and beyond, suppliers have historically targeted those who subsidize healthcare for their fraudulent activity. A Deloitte study highlighted healthcare for rising levels of fraudulence at 31% and 35% between 2014 and 2016 respectively.
The NHCAA estimates that insurance fraud costs total “in the tens of billions of dollars each year.” out of the billions of claims submitted annually in the U.S. By targeting the root of the issue, information availability, blockchain stands poised to eliminate significant portions of fraud between insurance and supply chain, thereby reducing costs of operation for healthcare providers.
How do healthcare providers benefit from a supply blockchain?
Healthcare providers search for the best quality and most reasonable prices they can afford for their patients. By monitoring the status and conditions their products are being transported and stored in, suppliers can offer higher quality products more consistently. By allowing for more automation, supply blockchains can also lower the cost of production and shipping to providers.
Lower costs and higher quality products translate directly to higher quality healthcare and lower stress on providers when stocking the supplies they need to operate their practices. By reducing costs of operation for healthcare providers, blockchain technology can free up funding to improve other aspects of the healthcare system that patients find most important.
How do patients benefit from a supply blockchain?
Patients feel that they pay too much for their healthcare and do not receive sufficient care for their dollar. TheJamaNetwork found that 4 metrics in patient service could be attributed to higher patient satisfaction:
– Time spent with the doctor
– Careful listening
– Effective communication skills
– Respect for patient opinions
How can healthcare suppliers benefit from blockchain?
Blockchain technology offers possibilities for increased automation, product tracking, resource planning and much more. When a supplier packages their products, they can integrate their products with the internet of things to monitor their status and condition. Startups like Chronicled and PalleTech are building smart solutions to improve product management.
Connecting sensors in pallets and containers allow the supplier to have an immutable, easily audited history for each of their products. The enemy of fraud is correct and easily accessible information. By providing suppliers with accurate, timestamped, and immutable records, blockchain helps to limit capacity to commit fraud successfully.