Michigan's two largest health information exchange
organizations, Michigan Health Connect, Grand Rapids, and Great Lakes Health Information Exchange, East Lansing, have completed plans announced in January to form Great Lakes Health Connect
The combined organizations, both launched in 2009, cover more than 80% of the hospital beds in the state and more than 20,000 providers, serving more than 5 million people, participants said. The two had entered into a data exchange agreement in the fall of 2013.
"Michigan Health Connect and the Great Lakes Health Information Exchange recognized that our missions were essentially the same and that we could better achieve our vision for a healthier Michigan together, rather than independently," Dr. Brian McCardel, chairman of the Great Lakes Health Information Exchange board of directors
, said in a release.
"The merger of these two leading organizations means Great Lakes Health Connect can provide unparalleled access to electronic health records
for participants in Michigan and beyond," said Doug Dietzman, executive director of the new organization and former executive director of Michigan Health Connect.
The move comes as $548 million in federal grants to establish state- and territory-based health information exchange organizations under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
is running out. Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn