Cigna, Sentara join Aetna, IBM's blockchain ecosystem

Cigna and Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara Healthcare are the latest organizations to join a collaborative blockchain project designed to improve transparency and interoperability in the healthcare space.

Aetna, Anthem, Health Care Services Corp. and PNC Bank launched the blockchain ecosystem initiative Jan. 24. Together, the organizations are exploring use cases for blockchain to address challenges in healthcare, such as payment processing, healthcare information exchanges and maintaining accurate provider directors.

"Cigna sees enormous potential for blockchain to improve the way we harness insights across the healthcare ecosystem to better serve our customers and community," said company CIO and Executive Vice President Mark Boxer, PhD.

IBM and PNC are already collaborating on a way to use blockchain to develop shared efficiencies, promote bundled payments and improve the quality care.

"Sentara is dedicated to leveraging information technology to continuously improve health every day," said company Chief Information and Innovation Officer and Senior Vice President Mike Reagin. "Blockchain is poised to help solve some of healthcare's most crucial data security and IT interoperability issues as we look to implement new customer-centric healthcare delivery models."

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