Augusta, Georgia-based Universal Health Coin (UHC) is a pre-launch startup building a blockchain-powered utility designed to provide a fair-payment platform for healthcare services. The AI-enhanced system will have UHC members fill their digital UHC Wallets once a month with cryptocurrency that will in turn pay their future healthcare costs. The UHC team argues that their system will cut healthcare costs for members by as much as 55%. Prior to their ICO in March, they are offering pre-purchases of UHC at a discount.+
UHC argues that there are two primary problems that drive up the cost of healthcare to new heights every year. First, there is an over-abundance of bureaucratic, administrative intermediaries standing in between the patient and the provider. In fact, UHC claims that 40% of healthcare costs in the U.S. are due to a combination of redundancies and bureaucratic/administrative record-keeping. Second, there is little to no free market for healthcare services, which leads to inflated healthcare costs that have reached an average of more than $10,000 per person in the U.S. in recent years.
UHC maintains that their platform is a solution to the dual-problem of beauracratic inefficiency and healthcare-cost inflation. By creating a direct connection between patient and provider, the company aims to eliminate the costs associated with third-party intermediaries. Further, the team argues that their distributed, decentralized, blockchain-based payment system will help lead to a freer healthcare market that will curb inflationary costs.
Each UHC member pays a monthly contribution toward their healthcare costs. The system converts their contribution into Universal Health Coin; stores the transaction as a block; encrypts the member’s identity; and sends the block to the UHC network for validation. Once validated, the block becomes an immutable record in the blockchain and the contribution appears in the member’s UHC Wallet. The wallet’s value is tied to the NEO token’s price.
Upon visiting a health provider, the provider uses the UHC card or app to confirm the member’s capacity to pay. After providing the healthcare service to the patient, the provider updates the UHC block with information and notes on the patient’s visit. The system then encrypts the patient’s data and transmits it to the UHC network, which validates the transaction and adds it to the blockchain. Finally, the UHC network releases the member’s cash payment to the provider’s payment system.
The success of UHC rests largely on the adoption of their payment utility by providers. The network of providers using the UHC card/app and accepting UHC payments will need to grow to the point that it represents a significant percentage of the healthcare provider ecosystem as a whole. Otherwise, patients will suffer from too few options to choose from and will likely phase out usage of the UHC utility.
Chairman, CEO and co-founder Courtney P. Jones was also the co-founder of FindWhat, one of the early adopters of the PPC search model later popularized by Google. Courtney P. Jones argues that just as the Internet served as a platform for entirely new business models, such as PPC search, so will the blockchain.
President, COO and co-founder Dr. Gordon Jones has two decades of experience working in healthcare cost and information management, and has spearheaded several healthcare finance apps.
The two co-founders are joined by four others to round out the six-person UHC team. The greater group includes six advisors, three “expert mentors,” and three consultants.
UHC is currently offering $5M of UHC pre-purchases to future UHC members. For the first $1M sold, they are offering a discount of 80 percent. The discount then drops through a series of tiers as more tokens are sold. The company allows pre-payments through a variety of popular cryptocurrencies: Neo, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and Litecoin. The official token sale is set to take place on March 1st, 2018.