South East Michigan Health Information Exchange (SEMHIE) Achieves Key Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange Milestone Under Contract for Electronic Medical Records for U.S. Social Security Administration

Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 19, 2011 — The South East Michigan Health Information Exchange (SEMHIE) announced today that it has been validated for conformance and interoperability testing by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and is now live on the Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange (NwHIN). SEMHIE joins a 20-member group of federal agencies and non-federal partners authorized to operate on NwHIN.

SEMHIE developed its health information exchange under a $2,988,000 contract with the U.S. Government’s Social Security Administration (SSA). This is the largest of the 12 remaining national SSA e-Disability Claims contracts and is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
This contract provides for the secure, authorized exchange of summary patient information for disability determination between SEMHIE health systems’ and providers’ electronic medical record (EMR) systems and the SSA. Once received, decisions on these claims can then be made by SSA, providing disabled citizens with an accelerated approval process that will improve access to healthcare services, accelerate the claims approval process and bring increased federal dollars to the Detroit area.  When complete, SSA expects to reduce the national average wait for eligibility determination from 457 days to 1-2 weeks and the delivery of medical information from providers to the SSA to 5 hours.
Funds from this contract award are enabling two major hospital systems that are collaborative partner members of SEMHIE, Henry Ford Health System and Oakwood Healthcare System, to securely exchange authorized summary patient records for disability determination with the SSA in standard CCD (Continuity of Care Document) format, linking their systems to the NwHIN, and meeting meaningful use criteria. At the conclusion of this SSA contract, it is anticipated that other major hospital systems and providers in the Detroit Metro area and across Michigan will use the SEMHIE’s infrastructure and services for disability claims processing. SEMHIE plans to leverage this technology and experience to create additional services for its members as it rolls out a comprehensive, full-functioning HIE in Southeast Michigan.
Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced in June 2010 that 15 healthcare providers and health information exchange networks received $17.4 million in contract awards to provide electronic medical records to the agency under the program.
“Using health information technology will improve our disability programs and provide better service to the public,” Commissioner Astrue said. “We’ve seen a significant increase in disability applications. To process them, the agency sends more than 15 million requests annually for medical records to healthcare providers. This largely paper-bound workload is generally the most time-consuming part of the disability decision process. The use of health IT will dramatically improve the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of this process, reducing the cost of making a disability decision for both the medical community and the American taxpayer.”
Under future milestones, SEMHIE will complete the work now in advanced stages to integrate the SEMHIE NwHIN gateway service to the web-services systems at Oakwood Healthcare System and Henry Ford Health System for exchange with the SSA. This contract is scheduled to be complete by the end of December 2011.
SEMHIE’s strategic partners in the SSA project are CNSI, CSC, Object Management Group (OMG), University Bank of Ann Arbor, Oakwood Health System and Henry Ford Health System. CSC and CNSI are members of two of the four consortia that built the NwHIN for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Reliance Software Systems, Inc. (RelWare®), Clinical Architecture and Joint Venture Hospital Labs (JVHL) are also providing leading-edge technical products and services to the project for CCD creation and semantic interoperability.
The SEMHIE solution incorporates a state of the art Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)/Cloud HIE infrastructure and advanced mapping technology based on the Model Driven Message Interoperability™ (MDMI™) Standard of the Object Management Group (OMG) linked to the NwHIN though a CONNECT gateway.
Architects and technicians at CSC and CNSI worked with SEMHIE’s experts, including Program Manager Michael M. Talley, to architect the solution proposed to SSA.  Michael M. Talley, SEMHIE’s Treasurer, SSA Program Manager, and a member of the Board of Directors, stated, “I am pleased to receive confirmation from the federal government that our system works and can do the job required.”
Helen L. Hill, FHIMSS, SEMHIE’s Program Manager for Public Private Initiatives, MiHIN Board member, and Henry Ford Health System Director of IT Consulting and HIE, stated, “SEMHIE is pleased to partner with the Social Security Administration on this innovative project that will provide great benefit to the economically and medically distressed residents of Southeast Michigan by dramatically reducing the average wait time for a decision on eligibility for disability. This project is advancing health information exchange significantly in this region, providing standards-based interoperability between major integrated healthcare delivery systems and an agency of the federal government using NwHIN CONNECT.”
“Henry Ford Health System, a founding member of SEMHIE, is very proud to be a project participant,” Hill continued. “Success in this national initiative is a significant step for SEMHIE as we move toward full implementation of our neutral, trusted health information exchange.”  Paula Fusco Smith, SVP & CIO of Oakwood Healthcare System and the Vice Chairman of the board of SEMHIE, stated, “This is a great step for Southeast Michigan and the SEMHIE organization. Oakwood is excited about being one of the leading health systems to initiate the health information exchange between the healthcare providers and Social Security Administration.”
Additional quotes from SEMHIE SSA Project participants CNSI, OMG and University Bank are available at
Additional background information for each entity named is available at
About South East Michigan Health Information Exchange (SEMHIE)
Southeast Michigan Health Information Exchange is a diverse non-profit multi- stakeholder consortium whose membership includes six major health systems (Beaumont Hospitals, Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System, Oakwood Healthcare System, St. John Health System, and Trinity Health), providers, payers, employers, quality organizations, safety-net providers and healthcare professional associations.  SEMHIE leverages proven and innovative technologies across health care settings to improve information process flow, continuity of care, and to accelerate improvement in the quality and safety of care. By decreasing costs while improving the quality of care, SEMHIE goal is to become a self-sustaining health information exchange serving Southeast Michigan.  SEMHIE is a Qualified Sub-State Health Information Exchange in the State of Michigan.
For more information visit, or contact Dr. Robert Jackson at or 313-386-5500.
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Sharif Hussein, CNSI’s Vice President added “CNSI is excited to be a part of the team that is improving and speeding up eligibility determinations for disabled citizens in Michigan. We are pleased that our initiative is aiding SSA’s utilization of the NwHIN by getting the Southeast Michigan providers online, which will greatly reduce the cost and complexity of integrating additional providers to this HIE platform and thus accelerate adoption overall.”
CNSI has successfully implemented Michigan’s replacement Medicaid system CHAMPS. CHAMPS’ underlying solution eCAMS®, is a scalable and flexible CMS certified 21st century SOA-based system built in alignment with the MITA framework.  The SEMHIE solution incorporates a state of the art Service Oriented Architecture and advanced mapping technology based on the Model Driven Message Interoperability™ (MDMI™) Standard of Object Management Group (OMG).  OMG Chairman & CEO Richard Mark Soley, Ph.D., stated, “The SEMHIE team is providing the first of many innovative solutions for the citizens of Michigan and the SSA.  Their insight that SOA architectures need to incorporate open standards is to be commended. I am pleased that the OMG MDMI Standard is providing great benefit to not only SEMHIE, but that these efforts will be leveraged to provide value to the entire U.S. healthcare community.”
University Bank, based in Ann Arbor, also provided in-kind services to the project as a member of SEMHIE through its CEO, Stephen Lange Ranzini. Ranzini, stated, “Healthcare information exchange is critically important in helping solve the long- standing problems that have hindered the manufacturing industry in Michigan and contributed to the loss of one million jobs in Michigan since April 2000. Mr. Talley’s efforts in the health information exchange industry have been supported by University Bank as a community reinvestment activity. The bank is providing SEMHIE with office and conference meeting space to support SEMHIE’s efforts and is devoting substantial time to mentor SEMHIE through this critical time during its start-up phase.”
About OMG
OMG® is an international, open membership, not-for-profit computer industry standards consortium. OMG Task Forces develop enterprise integration standards for a wide range of technologies and an even wider range of industries. OMG’s modeling standards enable powerful visual design, execution and maintenance of software and other processes. For more information, visit
About CNSI
CNSI is a leading provider of technology-enabled solutions that accelerate business transformation. CNSI partners with its clients to align, build, and manage a continuum of technology solutions that improve process efficiencies and streamline operations. Our professionals have built a reputation for understanding what it takes to help clients align IT with their mission and business objectives. As the industry’s preeminent supplier of Medicaid replacement systems, CNSI has a unique combination of healthcare competency and the technology expertise needed to develop and host verylarge-scale transaction processing systems. CNSI has establishing itself as an innovative provider of web-centric healthcare solutions that leverage the latest technologies. For more information, please
About CSC
CSC is a global leader in providing technology-enabled business solutions and services. Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., CSC has approximately 93,000 employees and reported revenue of $16.2 billion for the 12 months ended July 1, 2011. For more information, visit the company’s website at
About Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) is a Michigan not-for-profit corporation governed by a 22-member Board of Trustees. Advisory and affiliate boards comprising 129 Trustee volunteer leaders provide vital links to the communities served by the System. HFHS is managed by Chief Executive Officer Nancy Schlichting. HFHS is one of the nation’s leading comprehensive, integrated health systems. It provides health insurance and health care delivery, including acute, specialty, primary and preventive care services backed by excellence in research and education. Founded in 1915 by auto pioneer Henry Ford, the health system is committed to improving the health and well-being of a diverse community. HFHS is a tobacco-free organization.
About Oakwood Healthcare System
Founded in 1953 and headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, Oakwood Healthcare System is a comprehensive regional healthcare network that serves residents over a 500 square mile area. Comprised of four acute care hospitals, 45 primary and specialty care sites and four centers of excellence, Oakwood provides services to more than one million people in 35 communities. As the second largest employer in suburban Wayne County, Oakwood is home to more than 9,000 employees and 1,300 physicians representing nearly every medical and surgical specialty and subspecialty. Oakwood has been recognized as one of the nation’s top 100 Integrated Healthcare Networks and as one of Metro Detroit’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. For more information about Oakwood, visit

About University Bank

Ann Arbor-based University Bancorp owns 100% of University Bank which, together with its subsidiaries, holds and manages a total of over $9.8 billion in loans and assets.  University Bank is an FDIC-insured, locally owned and managed community bank.  Founded in 1890, University Bank® is proud to be selected as the “Community Bankers of the Year” by U.S. Banker magazine, the recipient of the American Bankers Association’s 2009 Community Bank Award and as one of the 12 fastest growing businesses in the Ann Arbor region by the regional economic development agency Ann Arbor SPARK. For more information see

About Reliance Software Systems, Inc. (RelWare®)

The core competency and central business model of Reliance Software Systems, Inc. (RelWare®) is delivering and implementing Health Information Technologies to enable our clients to improve patient safety, streamline operations, and reduce cost. Operating out of corporate headquarters located near Detroit, in Farmington Hills, MI, RelWare’s business is developing software—web-based software.
About Clinical Architecture
Clinical Architecture is a strategic consulting, design and product development firm focused on the integration and interoperability needs of the healthcare market. The company was formed around the extensive clinical integration experience and capabilities of its leadership and staff. With Symedical®, the company has introduced a unique approach to automating the creation and ongoing management of clinical terminology maps. Clinical Architecture is located just north of Indianapolis in Carmel, Indiana. For more information visit
About Joint Venture Hospital Laboratories (JVHL)
JVHL was established in 1992 to offer hospital and health system outreach laboratory programs the organizational model to attract and administer managed care laboratory services agreements. JVHL is organized as a limited liability company owned equally by several leading Michigan health care systems. Currently, there are more than 120 hospitals across Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana participating in JVHL laboratory service agreements. For more information visit