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Health care provider Providence St. Joseph Health acquired Seattle startup Lumedic, which uses blockchain to collect payments more efficiently.

The process of billing and collecting payment, called revenue cycle management, is a common headache for hospitals that has attracted solutions from Athenahealth, Experian Health, GE Healthcare Partners and others.

Lumedic CEO Lincoln Popp. (Lumedic photo)

Lumedic uses blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, to share information between payers and providers on a distributed ledger.

Providence said it’s the first integrated health care system to use blockchain for this purpose. By moving what is often a manual process to the blockchain, the companies hope to reduce costs.

“New technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning give us an opportunity to view the complexities of today’s health systems through a different lens,” said Venkat Bhamidipati, Providence St. Joseph Health CFO, in a statement.

Renton, Wash.-based Providence, which operates 51 hospitals, has hired the Lumedic team and intends to keep it an independent company that will pursue partnerships with providers, insurers and others. Providence did not disclose how much it paid for the acquisition or other terms of the deal.

Lumedic was founded a year ago by Michael Nash, the company’s chief product officer, and is led by CEO Lincoln Popp.

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