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Aetna, Ascension join blockchain alliance targeting provider directories

December 03, 2018 / Evan Sweeney

A new blockchain alliance that wants to improve the accuracy of provider information just added two healthcare powerhouses to its efforts. Aetna and Ascension have joined Synaptic, the blockchain-focused alliance launched earlier this year by UnitedHealth, Humana, Multiplan and Quest Diagnostics. The group, which now includes three of the nation’s largest payers and a health system that employs 34,000 providers, is focused on using the distributed ledger technology to improve the accuracy of provider directories. Inaccurate directories have plagued payers for years. An audit released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in January found 52% of provider directories in Medicare Advantage plans contained at least one error. CAQH estimates the healthcare industry spends at least $2.1 billion annually to maintain directories, and as much as 75% of those costs could be offset with an “external source of truth.”