Featured November 4, 2013 | detroit.cbslocal.com | Matt Roush, CBS Detroit

EAST LANSING (WWJ) — It just got easier to talk health information to the Michigan Health Information Network.

MiHIN has become the first state designated health information exchange to complete “onboarding” by Healtheway Inc., a non-profit in McLean, Va. that supports the eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing community of exchange partners that securely share information under a common trust framework and a common set of rules.

Participants in the eHealth Exchange include the Social Security Administration, the Veterans Health Administration and other states.

The eHealth Exchange is a group of organizations operating together to improve patient care, streamline disability benefit claims, and improve population health. The group accomplishes these goals through the secure, trusted exchange of health information — matching patients to their data without a national patient identifier, sending health information to other participating organizations, finding and requesting patient information from other participating organizations where permitted by law and policy, and subscribing to receive updates to patient information.

MiHIN is the first state-designated entity for exchanging healthinformation to complete onboarding to the eHealth Exchange with the new testing and onboarding process as guided by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.

MiHIN is also the first organization in the U.S. to onboard to the eHealth Exchange using the Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA). The C-CDA is a requirement under Meaningful Use Stage 2 regulations under the Affordable Care Act and is being implemented across the country under those regulations as a standard format to support Health Information Exchange.

“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 cirector of Healtheway. “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.”

And, Yeager added: “By successfully onboarding MiHIN with our new testing process in a way that supports Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements, we mark another milestone in Healtheway’s journey to enable secure, trusted exchange of health information nationwide. Collaborative efforts such as this, when like-minded organizations commit their resources to deploy a solution for the betterment of healthcare, are a core reason that HIE is transforming healthcare.”

MiHIN said its testing and onboarding broke new ground not only with its focus on C-CDA and Meaningful Use 2 requirements, but also in the type of health information used during the process.

“We worked closely with a Michigan behavioral health data sharing organization, PCE Systems, to test and complete the onboarding process,” said Tim Pletcher, executive cirector of MiHIN. “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. Involving behavioral health in the Michigan HIE environment provides an important tool to share information across a person’s care continuum, and does so in a manner that respects a person’s rights and privacy relating to sensitive information. We’re grateful to PCE Systems for contributing its time and resources to this project.”

PCE Systems, a Michigan data sharing organization, provided its HIE platform using CONNECT 4.2 to allow the MiHIN Common Gateway to communicate with the automated test lab, the Developers Integration Lab, during the testing process. PCE Systems also utilized their Electronic Medical Record as an “edge” system to initiate and respond to CCHIT test transactions through the MiHIN Common Gateway.

The MiHIN Common Gateway, developed with Nitor Group and used for the onboarding process, allows data sharing organizations to send and receive Patient Discovery, Document Query, Document Retrieve and Document Submission messages in multiple protocols to and from other eHealth Exchange participants.

When Michigan data sharing organizations agree to exchange information through MiHIN, they can choose from a number of Common Gateway use cases, including options to exchange information with Veterans Health Administration, the Social Security Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Electronic Submission of Medical Documentation System, non-federal eHealth Exchange participants, or other organizations that have entered into Michigan’s legal structure for data sharing.

PCE Systems is an information technology and services company based in Farmington Hills, specializing in custom, hosted IT systems beyond the capabilities of typical “off-the-shelf” software. PCE is the largest community mental health, Electronic Medical Record and provider management system vendor in Michigan,
with clients encompassing over 70 percent of the Michigan Medicaid mental health budget. PCE is also a qualified data sharing organization with MiHIN, providing secure, consent-based health information exchange to the behavioral health community in Michigan. PCE seeks to break the mold of typical software vendors by
providing innovative solutions and unparalleled support services under a model that engenders trust and collaboration among PCE and its clients. For more information about PCE Systems, please contact Jeff Chang at jchang@pcesystems.com.

More about at Healtheway Inc. at http://www.healthewayinc.org.

More about MiHIN at https://mihin.org.