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Heath information exchanges merge in Michigan

When looking at health information exchanges, it is easy to point to New York and Illinois as states that boast the largest ones in the country. However, the state of Michigan has now made a move that could significantly close that gap. Two different organizations have gone through a merger, and the end result is that the new health information exchange that has been created has around five million patients.

The merger is between the Great Lakes Health Information Exchange and Michigan Health Connect. The new organization that is formed will be known as Great Lakes Health Connect. It is one of the largest health information exchanges that can be found in the United States.

The executive director of Great Lakes Health Connect, who used to work in the same position for Michigan Health Connect before the merger, said that the organization will now make it easier than ever for people to get the electronic health records that they need.

A chairman also talked about the benefits of working together, indicating that was what spurred the merger. They simply saw that they were basically doing the same thing anyway, and they came to the conclusion that working independently toward that goal was not as efficient as working together.

When organizations in any field, including the health information field, are thinking about mergers as a way to expand, they must know what legal steps have to be taken to officially bring the two companies together. This is especially true for health-based organizations that may handle a lot of sensitive information, meaning that patient privacy laws need to be observed.

Source: Fierce Health IT, "Michigan merger creates HIE to serve more than 5 million patients" Katie Dvorak, Jul. 08, 2014

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