Michigan Association of Health Plans

Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services integrates Great Lakes Health Connect

Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN), one of the nation’s leading health information networks, will integrate Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC), the leading health information exchange in Michigan, to improve healthcare across the state and beyond.

MiHIN and GLHC have signed an agreement for the proposed integration with the goal of combining operations by end of 2019.

MiHIN is a public and private nonprofit collaboration created to coordinate and build the bridges between healthcare providers throughout the state. From hospitals to pharmacies to health plans, MiHIN creates the technology and resources needed to allow for the safe and secure sharing of electronic health information statewide, helping to reduce costs and ultimately improve care for patients.

GLHC, based in Grand Rapids, has had great success in seamlessly and securely combining information systems and tools with customer service and creativity to help solve complex problems for participating healthcare providers. The community-based nonprofit is dedicated to improving the quality and accessibility of healthcare information by creating care-connected communities across Michigan and beyond.

“This strategic integration stays true to both organizations’ missions to continuously improve healthcare quality, efficiency and patient safety by promoting secure, electronic exchange of health information with the best available technology,” said Tim Pletcher, DHA, Executive Director of MiHIN. “Both of our organizations have helped establish Michigan as a national leader in interoperability, and now we have the opportunity to work together on future innovations in this field.”

“We have watched each organization succeed on its own, but there comes a time when you have to reflect and examine why we’re working independently on the same mission. We asked ourselves, ‘Would we be stronger together?’ The answer was undoubtedly yes,” said Doug Dietzman, Chief Executive Officer of GLHC.

“As individual entities, MiHIN and GLHC have served a vast majority of the state; in some ways together, and in other ways independently. By uniting, we can deepen our impact, and will be more strategically aligned for ongoing national efforts and regulations being announced, such as the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA),” said Pletcher.

Both organizations held townhalls to inform staff of the integration and are gearing up to take 2020 head-on with their mission of continuously improving healthcare at the forefront.

There will not be any GLHC or MiHIN staff eliminations as a result of this integration. MiHIN anticipates needing an additional 36 associates over the next year.

The current Grand Rapids GLHC office will be maintained, along with MiHIN’s offices in East Lansing and Ann Arbor. MiHIN does not expect physical relocation of staff as a result of the integration.