A hospital in China sent the first electronic bill to a patient on its blockchain-based invoice management platform on Monday.
The People’s Hospital of Chengmai County, a public hospital in the Hainan province of South China, is the first hospital to issue and keep track of invoices on a blockchain in the province, according to a report by Chinese state media China News Service.
While not the first in China, Hainan is one of the few provinces that have successfully incorporated blockchain technology into their public institutions’ online administrative platforms.
The hospital sent invoices to so-called “ticket holders” on its patients’ phones. The patients can check the immutable medical and billing records for reimbursement without going to the hospital, according to the report.
The platform is now only available in the city but it is set to branch out to the rest of the province as the local government is focused on applying blockchain technology to processing official documents for other public institutions.
“Building on the pilot projects, we will optimize blockchain-based platforms and move more administrative work onto the chain so that government agencies can share information through the same system,” an official from the province’s ministry of finance said.
The southern Chinese province has preferential economic policies to lure blockchain companies to open offices in the province. The province capital Haikou is home to some of the leading Chinese blockchain companies, including Huobi China.
Provincial governments have carried out a variety of blockchain innovation initiatives since Chinese president Xi Jinping called on the nation to “seize the opportunities” to develop the technology in his speech in September 2019.
The Beijing government unveiled its holistic plan to encourage financial services companies to better serve the capital markets with blockchain technology, while Shanghai included two blockchain projects in its list of 57 strategically important high-tech companies that will receive monetary and intellectual support from the city.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.