Michigan Approved to Begin Implementation of the Michigan Health Information Network

Contact: James McCurtis Jr. (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

December 6, 2010

Lansing - The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has received federal approval to begin implementation of the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN). This authorization was required by the State Health Information Exchange (HIE) Cooperative Agreement, a program of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The Recovery Act program awarded $14.9 million to Michigan in February 2010. The state proceeded to execute an extensive planning process to develop Michigan's Strategic and Operational Plans, which needed the recently awarded secured approval in order to begin implementation of the MiHIN.

"The MiHIN is a public and private collaborative initiative that has been planned for and supported by Michigan's health care community because it is critical for improving the quality of health care in Michigan," said MDCH Director Janet Olszewski. "Now that our plans have garnered federal approval, work will start to connect Michigan's local health information exchange projects to ensure timely and secure health information is available at the point of care."

The MiHIN effort took root in 2005 with Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm's charge to utilize information technologies to improve health care outcomes and reduce the cost of care. The MiHIN is a joint effort of the MDCH, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, and a broad group of stakeholders from across the state.

The MiHIN is a set of technologies and policies designed to mobilize electronic health information securely and confidentially. The goal is to vastly improve the current paper-based and time consuming method of delivering health information between providers involved in a patient's care so relevant and timely information is available electronically. Effective statewide HIE will assist in the coordination of patient care, decrease duplication of services, and reduce potential adverse medication and allergy reactions.

The MiHIN is an essential component to ensuring Michigan's health care providers can utilize Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and other Health Information Technologies (HIT) in a way that meets the federal criteria for EHR incentive programs through Medicare and Medicaid.

Over 300 Michigan health care stakeholders participated in the MiHIN planning process that began in January 2010 and finished with submission of the MiHIN Strategic and Operational Plans to the Officer of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) by the due date of April 30, 2010. The MiHIN Strategic and Operational Plans were supported by the Michigan Health Information Technology Commission and the MiHIN Governance Board.

The ONC administers the State HIE Cooperative Agreement as one of several HIE and Health Information Technology (HIT) programs outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. An award was given to all 56 U.S. state and territories to develop similar methods to achieve statewide HIE that will eventually connect nationally. Michigan is one of the first states to be approved.