Can Blockchain Prevent Billion Dollar Scams in the Aged Care Sector?
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Aged care sector once stood for being the most compassionate industry in the world. The rapidly-growing urges have a reputation of pulling out humanity from the most humane person and render him/her hungry for money, regardless of the sources.
That’s what is happening with aged care sector; it has come down to nothing but a secure means of hoarding piles of money and filling up the coffers. An overstatement you say?
According to Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), US shells out $3.3 trillion for health expenditure, a rough total of $10,348 per person. This is more than 20% of the nation’s GDP. Over the coming years, this expenditure is expected to rise at an average annual rate of 6.2%.
Similarly, governments across the world spend billions of dollars every year on healthcare and aged care. Yes, the US does have far-better care facilities than say Korea but the present conditions still make us wonder whether all this money is being used for the right purposes.
Various cases of crooked care providers have been uncovered over the past year.
In a psychological care facility in the USA, Alzheimer’s patients got to see Forrest Gump every other day inside a small room. The movie’s great but what these patients and their families didn’t realise is that this movie session was ‘group therapy’.
Yes. The facility was claiming insurance for providing ‘group therapy’! The fraud was discovered by Charles E. Piper during one of his investigations.
Another unusual case came out in the open when a senior woman in Brisbane was cheated out of an amount of $43,000. She received a call from Australian Tax Office accusing her of tax evasion, instructing her to submit the money or face an arrest warrant. She submitted the sum to various accounts over a few weeks before growing suspicious and contacting the police. No culprit has been found till date.
Too many of the elderly do not have the family or the communal attachments necessary to feel valued; too many are widowed or otherwise alone; too many live in surroundings where they are essentially without the companionship necessary to stimulate a mind in danger of deteriorating.- Sherwin B. Nuland
The world will soon be facing a situation without any precedent: the fastest ageing population than ever before. There will soon come a day when the world will have a higher number of older people than the total number of children in it.
Ironically, a longer life does not necessarily mean a healthier life. Many of the elderlies worldwide rely on emergency shelters, food and other such resources for meeting their day-to-day as well as nutritional needs. One cannot help but wonder about the more significant questions.
How will this ageing population affect living costs and overall health?
Will this ageing population be blessed with good health, better care facilities, better social engagement and a sense of well-being?
Given the rate at which global population is ageing, such a future is inevitable.
We need a technology that will improve the lives of elderlies, the poor as well as the sick, and their families. We need a technology which brings all of them together for better companionship and to make this world a beautiful place for them to live in.
Blockchain technology is the only valid solution- a technology that champions ordinary people and promises to hand power back to them. When implemented in the aged care sector, Blockchain technology could also lead to seamless elderly care.
Blockchain technology can help build an ecosystem with such a physical and social infrastructure that fosters better care, health and well-being of the elderly. Not only that, the technology is capable of establishing an automated environment which leaves no room for scams or frauds in the aged care sector. Much like how Blockchain is being implemented in the banking sector to prevent any such situations.
Aged care sector has been ignored long enough and the longer we delay, the least effective that solution will likely be. Global efforts are being made to find cures for most common age-related ailments like Alzheimer’s. This is the right time to focus energies towards finding a better alternative to the present care systems.