Today, the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Finance announced it processed about 41.7 billion yuan ($5.9 billion) using the blockchain medical billing platform, according to a report from QNSB. As of October 28, the platform is in production at 480 medical institutions across the Zhejiang province.
The Zhejiang blockchain e-bill platform was launched earlier this year by the provincial government, with support from Alipay and Ant Financial’s (Alipay’s parent ) blockchain solution.
The report added that insurance payouts to patients had sped up by 96 times due to the implementation of blockchain in the medical sector. The platform securely connects patients, billing agencies, medical institutions, and insurance companies.
Currently, citizens of the province are using their smartphones to make doctor’s appointments, pay the bills, get the prescriptions, take medicines and pick up tickets without queuing up at every step.
“At present, hospitals with online e-bill function in the province will share data on the platform, and citizens can download e-bills directly on the Internet for commercial reimbursement no matter where they see a doctor. Some insurance companies have started to accept claims online and make real-time payment,” said an official from the Provincial Department of Finance.
The report claims that average medical visits have dropped to two from six, which significantly reduces the burden on the hospitals issuing bills to patients.
The blockchain billing solution is part of the Zhejiang government’s ‘Zheliban’ app, which electronically stores all the bills. This has cut down the insurance claims process to as little as three hours from the original time of 12 days or more. Meanwhile, this also eliminates the problem of double reimbursements by government authorities.
As it is a government app, the identity of individuals and credentialing of doctors issuing prescriptions is already available. On the other hand, the solution saves the administration time and money by eliminating paper-based transactions.
The blockchain billing solution was first trialed in Taizhou by Alipay, with a focus on speeding up the insurance claims process. Last year, Ant Financial launched its blockchain drug prescription service in China. The Zhejiang region also recently launched a solution to tackle counterfeit products.
A few ago, the Guangzhou Huadu District People’s Hospital launched a blockchain-based invoicing service. China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, also has a blockchain medical solution for securely sharing patient data.