Indiana HIEs consolidate into single statewide network

Indiana Health Information Exchange and Michiana Health Information Network will merge in 2020, at which point all MHIN employees will become IHIE employees, with offices in Indianapolis and South Bend.
By Max Sullivan
03:06 PM

Two major health information exchanges are merging in Indiana in what their executives say will provide the state with broader and more connected healthcare support.

WHY IT MATTERS
Indiana Health Information Exchange and Michiana Health Information Network announced their new deal to join their networks Wednesday.

The companies signed an agreement to merge their networks Jan. 1, 2020, at which point all MHIN employees will become IHIE employees. IHIE is now planning to have offices in both Indianapolis and South Bend, Indiana.

The move also includes consolidating with a third exchange, healthLINC based in Bloomington, Indiana, which began transitioning its customers to IHIE earlier this year.

Kelly Hahaj, CEO at MHIN, said the companies have been collaborating on projects over the past few years and work well together. She said it was apparent the two would be stronger together and have a bigger impact on supporting healthcare in Indiana.

THE LARGER TREND
Company leadership described the move as following a trend towards network consolidation seen around the country.

Jeff Costello, Chief Financial Officer of Beacon Health System and Board President of Michiana Health Information Network, said having one information exchange for the entire state will facilitate broad access to clinical data in a safe, efficient, timely and cost effective manner.

John Kansky, President and CEO of IHIE, said the evolution of national interoperability is driving the need for HIEs to adapt, as well as create new opportunities for value proportions.

In an interview with Healthcare IT News earlier this year, Kansky emphasized that value that state and regional HIEs bring to the interoperability equation.

"Many HIEs are still going strong and making great progress – even on the national level, which they are not known for, since HIEs are thought of as regional or state things," he said. "If you go looking for the people that have the last mile wired and/or have the data available – and in some cases have it in normalized, curated repositories, ready to be exchanged – it's the HIEs."

ON THE RECORD
"We are excited to continue the great work of the state's two health information exchanges under one umbrella," said Costello.

"The transition of HealthLINC to IHIE is making a positive difference in the healthcare experience for our patients and our clinicians," said Brian Shockney, President, South Central Region, Indiana University Health. "Being able to easily transmit medical information among the care team, no matter where they are located, clearly contributes to better coordination of care and results."

Max Sullivan is a freelance writer and reporter who, in addition to writing about healthcare, has covered business stories, municipal government, education and crime.

Twitter: @maxsullivanlive
Email: maxesullivan@gmail.com

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