The Block Doctor – Distributed Ledger Technology For Medical Licensure

On August 8, 2017, the Illinois Blockchain Initiative announced that it has partnered with Hashed Health. The pair will collaborate on methods by which to enhance the “efficiency and accuracy of the medical credentialing process in Illinois” using a blockchain-based registry.

“In the short-term we anticipate this pilot will show how distributed ledger technology can help reduce the complexity of interstate licensing processes in Illinois,” noted Bryan Schneider, secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

“In the long-term, we see this as a secure, privacy-enhancing way in which state licensure boards can efficiently manage credentialing at national scale, while also presenting health payers and provider networks a ‘single source-of-truth’ to improve the veracity of provider directories and claims adjudication processes.”

A blockchain-based system to confirm a doctor’s credentials might provide patients greater transparency in their medical care and help prevent improper treatment. The viability of blockchain has been well-documented in the pharmaceutical and medical records industries.

In June 2017, the IDFPR issued guidance on licensing for money transmitters that deal with virtual currency. The organization found that digital currencies do not qualify as money under the Illinois Transmitters of Money Act. Yesterday’s announcement and the IDFPR’s reaction demonstrate that the department remains interested and active in blockchain developments that fall under its jurisdiction.

As distributed ledger technology becomes more prevalent, it’s vital for licensing agencies and departments to stay involved. Proactive legislation (like that of Delaware) can help industries prepare for impending technological changes.