The health information exchanges—not to be confused with the health insurance exchanges under healthcare reform—are intended to help make it easier for hospitals and physicians to exchange patient information.
Experts believe healthcare organizations can reduce costs and increase quality by better coordinating care and reducing service duplication when they share patient information.
The other Michigan HIEs, which also represent hospitals and doctors, are Bingham Farms-based Ingenium, Upper Peninsula Health Network and Jackson Community Medical Records.
Federal agencies participating on the nationwide eHealth Exchange network include the Social Security Administration, the CMS and the Veterans Health Administration.
Besides the Michigan Health Information Network, HIEs based in New York, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Idaho and Indiana are participating in Healtheway. Other members are Epic, the American Medical Association and Kaiser Permanente.
"Participating in the eHealth Exchange enables secure, electronic health information exchange to occur across diverse technical platforms, geographies and legal requirements," said Mariann Yeager, executive director of Healtheway, in a statement.
"Enabling Michigan's healthcare providers to exchange information electronically with federal organizations and other participants in the eHealth Exchange community will help improve patient care, through information availability, and expedite payment of benefits for the disabled," Yeager said.
Pletcher said MiHIN's data processing system is the first state-designated entity for exchanging health information to complete secure connections to the national eHealth Exchange under guidelines of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.
Michigan's providers will also be able to share medical and behavioral health information on the eHealth Exchange, he said.
"There's an impression that the focus of HIE has centered on physical health, but this pioneering support of a behavioral health data sharing organization reflects Michigan's commitment to integrated coordination of care between behavioral and physical health providers," Pletcher said.
MiHIN worked with Farmington Hills-based PCE Systems to test the behavioral health information, he said.
Sharing behavioral health and medical health information "provides an important tool to share information across a person's care continuum," Pletcher said.
Healtheway's eHealth Exchange, formerly called the National Health Information Network Exchange, represents hundreds of hospitals, thousands of doctors and other providers, and millions of patients, Yeager said.
"Mich. health information networks to share info with federal agencies, 6 other states" originally appeared in Crain's Detroit Business.