Health care providers that accept Bitcoin as payment are in high demand for the digital currency, according to a new study.
The study, released Monday, looked at health care payment solutions and found that more than 90% of the companies that accepted Bitcoin as a payment option in 2016 were in the healthcare space.
“The fact that the healthcare industry is still largely a closed space has resulted in a lack of innovation and innovation in the sector,” explained Dr. Shashank Jha, CEO of CoinDesk and co-author of the study.
“With the emergence of a growing ecosystem of healthcare companies, it has become more likely that healthcare providers will move into this space, particularly as more healthcare professionals will benefit from the Bitcoin ecosystem.”
The study looked at healthcare providers that have accepted Bitcoin in the past year and found a wide variety of providers.
It looked at how many health care payments they processed and found over 85% of those were Bitcoin-accepting providers.
“The healthcare industry has shown the ability to transition from the traditional model of using cash to digital payments,” said Jha.
“Many providers now offer their services using Bitcoin.”
While many of the providers that accepted the digital currencies, like PayPal and Health.com, had more than 1 million active users, Coinbase has the most active Bitcoin wallet, with over 100,000 active users.
Many of the health care companies that had more Bitcoin-paying users in 2016 had more active Bitcoin wallets.
For example, Health.co, which has over 100 million users, is now accepting Bitcoin payments.
“We saw that the adoption of Bitcoin has increased over the past several years,” said Dr. Jha of the data, which was collected in February and March of 2016.
“In healthcare, healthcare payments can be a lot of work, but at the end of the day it’s the least amount of work,” said Jason Wiebe, CEO and founder of Health.
Co. “Healthcare payment providers are willing to do a lot more for their customers and patients.
And that’s why the health services industry is rapidly evolving in this area.”
While it’s important to note that this data only looked at the health industry, Jha said that Bitcoin adoption is “rapidly growing” in healthcare.
In addition to Coinbase, other large healthcare providers have also opened up to accepting Bitcoin.
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center opened a Bitcoin wallet to accept Bitcoin payments in February, as did the Mayo Clinic.
And while it’s not all about Bitcoin and the health space, there are a few notable companies that are accepting Bitcoin, like American Express, which also accepts Bitcoin payments, and Walgreens, which allows customers to pay with Bitcoin and debit card.
“This is a very new space for healthcare, and it’s still early days,” said Wiefe of the growing number of Bitcoin companies.
“But we see the health market as a very attractive investment opportunity for companies that want to grow their businesses.”
The full report can be found here: http://bit.ly/2nj7lwT