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Health Alliance Plan Joins The Michigan Health Information Network

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Health Alliance Plan, the state’s second largest health insurer, announced it is now a qualified data sharing organization with the Michigan Health Information Network.

The network is the official state-designated entity for electronic health information exchange in Michigan.

The addition of HAP to the MIHIN network demonstrates the continued steady, positive growth Michigan is making towards a comprehensive shared network to improve communication across the health care spectrum statewide.

“HAP believes unnecessary paperwork and fragmented health care Information Technology systems that are unable to communicate with each other are hazardous to our health and contribute to rising medical costs,” said Christopher Pike, HAP senior vice president and COO.

Most patients interact with many different medical providers as their health needs change. Sharing paper records with physicians in other care settings can be difficult. The difficulty in sharing paper-based medical information affects quality and continuity of care. Any patient or caregiver knows how frustrating it can be to obtain records from different doctors’ offices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and skilled care facilities.

MiHIN helps solve this problem by linking health care systems and networks from around the state in a secure manner so that providers can seamlessly route data to each other at the point of care, wherever they happen to be. The network enables physicians, hospitals, health insurers and public health officials to share patient data at the point of care in a constructive, secure manner while reducing costs and improving outcomes. When doctors have a complete picture of a patient’s medical history they can make better, more informed medical decisions.

“HAP’s participation in MiHIN further demonstrates our leadership in providing critical information to physicians when and where they need it,” Pike said. “Our desire to advance communication through information technology led to HAP’s pioneering investments in Michigan’s ePrescribing program, electronic medical records and digital imaging systems. Our partnerships with public and private organizations improve quality and safety, support the doctor-patient relationship, and make the health care system easier for patients to navigate.”

As a qualified data sharing organization with MiHIN and the eleven other data sharing organizations using MiHIN, HAP will participate in transferring and receiving patient care information under the MiHIN legal and technical framework for the secure electronic exchange of health information. This data can include anything from admit-discharge-transfer notices, quality reporting, to public health surveillance used by the state of Michigan to monitor and maintain general population well-being by identifying public health risks.

“HAP’s entry into MiHIN will take us another step closer to achieving statewide connectivity, collaboration across diverse health care settings, and improved value and quality care for Michigan residents,” said Nick Lyon, chief deputy director of the Michigan Department of Community Health. “When government entities, health insurers, providers and hospitals work together, we will then begin to see results. Through this partnership, we will be better able to enhance Michigan’s ability to track public health outcomes, improve the coordination of patient care, and address medical cost drivers such as unnecessary emergency department visits and hospital readmissions.”

HAP’s participation with MiHIN fills an important need in the ongoing development of Michigan’s data sharing network. According to MiHIN Executive Director Tim Pletcher health insurer involvement with information exchange is critical to the success of statewide health information exchange.

“As one of the state’s largest health insurers, HAP brings a wealth of information and experience to MiHIN,” Pletcher said. “Connecting that information electronically and securely to other qualified data sharing organizations via MiHIN will yield significant benefits for the people of Michigan in the form of better, more affordable health care.”

HAP is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to more than 670,000 members and companies of all sizes. For more than 50 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations to enhance the health and well-being of the lives we touch. HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid, Self-Funded and Network Leasing.

The Michigan Health Information Network is Michigan’s initiative to improve health care quality, efficiency and patient safety through the sharing of electronic health information, while reducing costs. MiHIN is the official state designated entity for health information exchange across Michigan and the future integration with the eHealth Exchange. The Michigan Health Information Network is Michigan’s initiative to improve health care quality, efficiency. MiHIN is a Michigan nonprofit entity, functioning as a public and private collaboration between the State of Michigan, sub-state Health Information Exchanges, payers, providers and patients. For more information please visit http://www.mihin.org

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