NASCO, a leading provider of healthcare technology solutions, announced today that it has partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc. and Express Scripts to form a consortium focused on delivering breakthrough technologies for the healthcare industry. The consortium, named Coalesce Health AllianceSM (Coalesce), is initially focused on evaluating the application of blockchain to improve the efficiency and accuracy of member healthcare data exchanges across entities within the Blues’ ecosystem.
Owned by and exclusively serving Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) health plans across the nation, NASCO fosters collaboration among BCBS plans to promote innovation, deliver shared solutions and create a competitive cost advantage. Coalesce views blockchain not only as a technology disruptor, but also as an enabler of business networks and collaborative information exchange. NASCO began working with its BCBS plan partners in 2018 to examine how blockchain could help transform its already strong collective business network into an efficient, real-time, secure, trustworthy ecosystem that would benefit all parties.
Coalesce has successfully executed an Alpha Pilot project to demonstrate a basic healthcare distributed accumulators blockchain solution in a cloud environment. The Alpha Pilot project addresses the challenges health plans experience in managing member accumulations — such as not being able to accurately identify members across entities, working with stale or incomplete data and running into inconsistent integration formats — to ultimately increase operational efficiencies and improve the member experience.
“As both a co-owner and customer of NASCO, we recognize the value of interoperability as a key pillar of our strategy,” said Bill Fandrich, Senior Vice President and CIO for BCBSM. “Our recent success leveraging blockchain, in partnership with several other Blue plans in the Coalesce Health Alliance, is one step in that journey.”
Interest in Coalesce has increased since the introduction of the Alpha Pilot project, as several other BCBS health plans, including HealthNow New York, Inc., are now participating in the consortium’s advisory groups to evaluate the potential business value for their health plans.
“We’re only at the beginning of our journey of testing traditional notions and transforming healthcare through innovative solutions,” said David Weeks, CTO for NASCO. “But we’re excited about the possibilities, and we’re grateful to be part of a consortium of partners who are imagining the future of healthcare with us.”