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Aetna, Anthem, Health Care Service Corporation, PNC Bank and IBM announce collaboration to establish blockchain-based ecosystem for the healthcare industry

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Inclusive blockchain-based ecosystem to be designed to enable healthcare companies to build, share, and deploy solutions that drive digital transformation

Aetna, Anthem, Health Care Service Corporation, PNC Bank and IBM today announced a new collaboration to design and create a network using blockchain technology to improve transparency and interoperability in the healthcare industry.  The aim is to create an inclusive blockchain network that can benefit multiple members of the healthcare ecosystem in a highly secure, shared environment. The goal is to allow the blockchain network to enable healthcare companies to build, share and deploy solutions that drive digital transformation in the industry.

Despite major initiatives to digitize healthcare information, major improvements in transparency and interoperability among various groups in the healthcare system are still necessary. By reducing administrative errors and friction through the application of blockchain technology, healthcare information could be exchanged more efficiently. These improvements, once realized could help enhance patient care and reduce unnecessary costs.

The collaboration members intend to use blockchain to address a range of industry challenges, including promoting efficient claims and payment processing, to enable secure and frictionless healthcare information exchanges, and to maintain current and accurate provider directories.

"We are committed to improving the healthcare consumer experience and making our healthcare system work more effectively," said Claus Jensen, chief technology officer at Aetna, a CVS Health business. "Through the application of blockchain technology, we'll work to improve data accuracy for providers, regulators, and other stakeholders, and give our members more control over their own data."  

"At Anthem, we recognize the importance of driving change that will simplify the healthcare system for all Americans," said Rajeev Ronanki, Chief Digital Officer of Anthem, Inc. "We view Blockchain as an enabler for establishing trust. Timely access to medical information has been a stumbling block for creating a seamless consumer experience. With a trusted foundation based on transparency and cryptography, we will provide a faster, safer and more secure way to exchange medical information to transform the  consumer healthcare experience."

"HCSC is continuously exploring how technology and data can improve the lives of our members by reducing fragmentation of information and connecting parts of the health care system," said Steve Betts, senior vice president and chief information officer, HCSC. "We are proud to be part of this collaboration focused on enhancing technical knowledge, understanding capabilities and unlocking the possibilities to drive quality, affordable care."

"Blockchain's unique attributes make it suitable for large networks of members to quickly exchange sensitive data in a permissioned, controlled, and transparent way," said Lori Steele, general manager for Healthcare and Life Sciences for IBM. "The fact that these major healthcare players have come together to collaborate indicates the value they see in working together to explore new models that we think could drive more efficiency in the healthcare system and ultimately improve the patient experience."

"This collaboration will enable healthcare-related data and business transactions to occur in way that addresses market demands for transparency and security, while making it easier for the patient, payer and provider to handle payments" said Chris Ward, head of product, PNC Treasury Management. "Using this technology, we can remove friction, duplication, and administrative costs that continue to plague the industry."

Aetna, Anthem, HCSC, PNC Bank, and IBM are actively working to further define the initial use cases for the health utility network. The collaboration will add additional members to the network in the coming months including other health organizations, healthcare providers, startups, and technology companies. 

About Aetna
Aetna, a CVS Health business, serves an estimated 39 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit www.aetna.com and explore how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world. @AetnaNews

About Anthem, Inc. 
Anthem is working to transform health care with trusted and caring solutions. Our health plan companies deliver quality products and services that give their members access to the care they need. With over 73 million people served by its affiliated companies, including nearly 40 million within its family of health plans, Anthem is one of the nation's leading health benefits companies. For more information about Anthem's family of companies, please visit www.antheminc.com/companies

About Health Care Service Corporation 
Health Care Service Corporation is the country's largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall, with more than 15 million members in its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. A Mutual Legal Reserve Company, HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. HCSC has a rating of A+ (Strong) from Standard and Poor's, A1 (Good) from Moody's and A (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company. For more information, please visit HCSC.com, visit our Facebook page or follow us at Twitter.

About IBM
IBM is recognized as the leading enterprise blockchain provider. The company's research, technical and business experts teams have broken barriers in transaction processing speeds, developed the most advanced cryptography to secure transactions, and are contributing millions of lines of open source code to advance blockchain for businesses. IBM is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. Since 2016, IBM has worked with hundreds of clients across financial services, supply chain, government, retail, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain applications, and operates a number of networks running live and in production. The cloud-based IBM Blockchain Platform delivers the end-to-end capabilities that clients need to quickly activate and successfully develop, operate, govern and secure their own business networks. IBM is an early member of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. For more information about IBM Blockchain, visit https://www.ibm.com/blockchain/ or follow us on Twitter at @ibmblockchain.

About PNC
PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.

For more information, visit: www.ibm.com.

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