Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

What Change Healthcare And The Postal Service Can Tell Us About The Coming Platform Revolution

April 1, 2024


On March 18th 1970, over 200,000 United States Postal Service (USPS) workers from across the country walked off the job. At the time, this wildcat strike was the largest in American history. Relevant to healthcare at the time: nearly all medical claims in the nation were delivered by post.

Now, 54 years later, the recent cyberattack on Change Healthcare is wreaking similar havoc on the economic infrastructure of the healthcare system.

Postal systems like the USPS, and claims clearinghouses like Change Healthcare, are examples of national networks, underpinned by the same fundamental business model as modern platform giants, from Amazon to Uber to Airbnb: they reduce systemic transaction costs by providing a one-to-many connection, and grow in value as the network of users grows.

And while, as recent history shows, these networked modes are not immune to disruption, they have been imperative to the ongoing modernization of our healthcare system – and society as a whole. The foregoing alternative: point-to-point claim submission via carrier pigeon.

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