The Michigan Health Connect, a health information exchange that spans 49 hospitals, is a rare bird in the industry. It is entirely funded by its hospital members, who pay a base rate depending on their size, then pay additional fees depending on what services are needed.

Executive Director Doug Dietzman described the exchange at the Medical Group Management Association annual meeting in Las Vegas. He emphasized that to succeed, HIEs should focus on solving small local problems first, rather than pursue a grandiose vision. In his case, local hospitals were being inundated with requests by physicians to write interfaces to their electronic health records systems. By turning to the HIE as a neutral third-party, the hospitals were able to avoid those costs.

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