Health insurer VGZ is now experimenting with an application using the blockchain technology, primarily known for cryptocurrency, in order to reduce the administrative costs in maternity care, Financieele Dagblad recently reported.
The main advantages of blockchain are that all computers on the network see the same, identical data.
In this “experiment”, the parents-to-be can use an application on their smartphones to see how many hours of maternity care they are afforded. The maternity nurse will then use the same application to log the hours every time she/he visits the new family, and then the mother or father can indicate whether this information is correct. This data is then readily available to the health insurer, which then at least in principle can pay the care provider if they wish immediately.
“It’s really all about the administrative processes for now”, Hugo te Kaat of VGZ corp. said to CryptoBuzz News Network. “This new system is actually for all of us, which in fact is a key ingredient of blockchain technology. Virtually everyone looks at the same data, which creates confidence in the technology.”
Two infants were born last week with their parents using this new app. VGZ thinks it will need approximately forty to fifty participants in order to determine if this application actually works or not.
The maternity center LiemersCare – one of the maternity centers participating in the experiment – is already excited about the reduction in paperwork this new app could result in, quality officer Bert Doppenberg told CBNN. “The situation now is that the hours worked by our employees are put on paper with a signature from the customer in question. The forms are then checked at the office then go to the care provider, which then checks them again. A few weeks later, it is paid. That process literally disappears with the blockchain app.”
If this experiment works like it is supposed to, it will reduce a great amount of the overhead in maternity care. That may however cost some people jobs, Te Kaat said. “That is unfortunately what happens when things are digitized. It’s one fact of life we can’t do much about, it just kind of happens”, he said to CBNN reporters.