East Lansing, MI, September 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN) announced that Dr. Thomas L. Simmer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has joined the MiHIN Board of Directors, adding decades of proactive physician leadership experience to the statewide initiative to improve healthcare through electronic health information exchange.

“MiHIN welcomes Dr. Simmer as a member of our Board,” said MiHIN Chairman of the Board Larry Wagenknecht. “He has a strong history of initiating and implementing quality care programs that align ideally with the MiHIN mission. Tom’s statewide leadership is a great addition to MiHIN and will help provide further physician direction as we continue working toward our goal of better healthcare for the residents of Michigan.”

Simmer brings many years of healthcare leadership and experience to MiHIN. As Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), he is responsible for reimbursement, medical policy and professional payment policies. Under his leadership, BCBSM has implemented a number of collaborative programs to improve access, cost and quality of medical services, and Simmer continues to build positive relationships between medical societies and physicians across Michigan.

“MiHIN is making exciting progress in improving the quality and lowering the costs of healthcare for the people of Michigan,” Simmer said. “Electronic health information exchange benefits everyone – patients, providers and health plans. I look forward to working with and contributing to the team at MiHIN to continue building a positive future for healthcare in our state.”

Simmer also offers a unique viewpoint to the MiHIN board as both a physician and a representative of Michigan’s largest health plan.

“Dr. Simmer brings a wealth of clinical knowledge and experience to the MiHIN Board,” said Tim Pletcher, Executive Director for MiHIN. “He is a true leader with a solid track record of building the kind of physician-led collaborative programs that are crucial to the future of healthcare. We welcome the insights he can bring to help ensure MiHIN continues deploying the best possible healthcare improvement infrastructure for the people of Michigan.”

Prior to joining BCBSM, Simmer was vice president of health and medical affairs and medical director for Health Alliance Plan. He is a member of the Michigan State Medical Society and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

About Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN)
MiHIN is dedicated to improving the healthcare experience and decreasing cost for Michigan’s people by supporting the statewide electronic exchange of health information and making valuable data available at the point of care. MiHIN is a public and private nonprofit collaboration between the State of Michigan, the Office of the National Coordinator, sub-state Health Information Exchanges, insurers, payers, providers and patients. For more information please visit www.mihin.org.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit http://bcbsm.com.