Health Care and Technology

Priority Health links to Michigan Health Connect

March 14, 2013
| By Pete Daly |
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Priority Health CMO Jim Byrne retires
Grand Rapids-based Priority Health is a nonprofit health plan that serves more than 600,000 people. Image via fb.com

Priority Health has become the first major health care insurer in Michigan to join the state’s largest health information exchange service, Michigan Health Connect. The move comes as the nation works to establish a secure, seamless system for the transmission of electronic health records, to improve patient care and reduce costs as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

According to Priority Health, Michigan Health Connect — which is headquartered in Grand Rapids — is the only HIE in the state with the ability to deliver hospital admission, discharge and transfer notifications to insurers. The partnership means Priority Health is immediately notified and can start processing claims when members are treated in an emergency room or admitted to a hospital.

“Priority Health’s partnership with Michigan Health Connect on behalf of their 600,000-plus members and large network of providers across the state will help ensure that Michigan residents get the best-coordinated care in the country,” said Doug Dietzman, executive director of Michigan Health Connect.

“Collaboration is central to Michigan Health Connect’s mission, and Priority Health’s decision to work with our hospitals, providers and other stakeholders to create an integrated, statewide health information exchange is a great example for other health plans nationwide,” Dietzman added.

“Partnering with Michigan Health Connect means we can further support our providers with the tools and information they need in their local offices to provide the best care for our members,” said Mike Koziara, chief operating officer for Priority Health.

Michigan Health Connect is a nonprofit organization established in 2009 by Spectrum Health, Trinity Health and Metro Health hospitals. It is now the largest health information exchange in Michigan, serving 65 hospitals, 1,568 medical offices, and more than 7,000 individual providers and diverse providers statewide including federally qualified health clinics, community mental health and long-term care facilities.

Priority Health, which is owned by Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, is an HMO offering health insurance for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. It is a nonprofit company.

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