The Players


DAVID BLUMENTHAL
NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Date of Birth: Aug. 31, 1948.

Education: A.B., Harvard College; M.D. Harvard Medical School, and M.P.P., John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Career Path: Blumenthal worked on the Senate subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research for Sen. Edward Kennedy and later headed Harvard’s Center for Health Policy and Management. He was also vice president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and is the founding director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute for Health Policy.

Role in Health Care Reform, 1993-1994: Not heavily involved.

Why He's a Player Now: Blumenthal will oversee the implementation of health information technology improvements, including electronic medical records.

Quote: “The goals are quality and efficiency, instead of just putting machinery in offices. If we encourage better performance, then physicians are going to find ways to improve performance. And health information technology is one crucial way to do that.” (New York Times, March 25, 2009)

"The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the federal government would spend $29 billion on incentives, but it would produce savings of $12 billion … There's a good chance that the current funding will be enough to equip every doctor's office in America with electronic record keeping. I believe that physicians and many hospitals will come to the conclusion that in order to be an adequate professional and to hold their head up with other doctors, they're going to have to be able to manipulate health care records electronically." (Interview with The Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2009)

Read about the other 'Players'.