Richard Gephardt, Former Congressman (D-MO)

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Former Congressman Richard Gephardt (D-MO), speaks with Eric S. Fishman, MD during HIMSS09 about the current position on Health Information Technology.

Gephardt expresses his views on the ARRA, on Personal Health Records, MyMedicalRecords.com, HIPAA, as well as additional methods to improve the US Healthcare System.

Richard Gephardt has been a prominent American politician for several decades, serving as a U.S. Representative from Missouri (1977-2005), House Majority Leader (1989-1995), and Minority Leader (1995-2003). Congressman Gephardt has advocated Health Information Technology as the solution to develop the Healthcare Industry.  Gephardt is an architect of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which was enacted in 1996 to improve the nation’s healthcare system through the usage of electronic data interchange.  Recently, Gephardt joined the Board of Advisors of MyMedicalRecords.com to promote the usage of individuals obtaining Personal Health Records.

Category: Featured, HIMSS09
Date: April 20, 2009
Views:21,308 views
Information: Richard Gephardt has been a prominent American politician for several decades, serving as a U.S. Representative from Missouri (1977-2005), House Majority Leader (1989-1995), and Minority Leader (1995-2003). Congressman Gephardt has advocated Health Information Technology as the solution to develop the Healthcare Industry. Gephardt is an architect of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which was enacted in 1996 to improve the nation’s healthcare system through the usage of electronic data interchange. Recently, Gephardt joined the Board of Advisors of MyMedicalRecords.com to promote the usage of individuals obtaining Personal Health Records.

Richard Gephardt, Former Congressman, (D-MO)
Time: 5:55

Former Congressman, Richard Gephardt, (D-MO) speaks with Eric Fishman, MD during HIMSS09 about the current position on Health Information Technology.

Gephardt expresses his views on the ARRA, on Personal Health Records, MyMedicalRecords.com, HIPAA, as well as additional methods to improve the US Healthcare System.

Richard Gephardt has been a prominent American politician for several decades, serving as a U.S. Representative from Missouri (1977-2005), House Majority Leader (1989-1995), and Minority Leader (1995-2003). Congressman Gephardt has advocated Health Information Technology as the solution to develop the Healthcare Industry. Gephardt is an architect of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which was enacted in 1996 to improve the nation’s healthcare system through the usage of electronic data interchange. Recently, Gephardt joined the Board of Advisors of MyMedicalRecords.com to promote the usage of individuals obtaining Personal Health Records.

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Eric Fishman MD.: Hello. This is Eric Fishman with EHRtv and today we’ll be discussing personal health records and electronic health records with Congressman Richard Gephardt. Congressman Gephardt, it’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with you and thank you for your time out of your very busy schedule. You, more than anybody, have had an extraordinary interest and experience in health information for decades as one of the architects of HIPAA and now with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. I think you're probably pretty excited about finally a phenomenal increase in this activity. I wonder if you could tell us about that?

Congressman Gephardt: Well, health IT is critical to making the health-care system work better, to be able to get the data we need, to be able to improve the quality and to control the cost of healthcare. We've talked about it forever, but now we're finally beginning to do something about it. The stimulus package that the Congress passed a few weeks ago is really the first big serious step the federal government’s taken to really move the needle on this subject. So it's exciting. It's, I'm sure, very enthusiastically received by the entire healthcare community and now we just need to get the money spent and get the health IT bought.

Eric Fishman, MD.: It's a couple orders of magnitude or more funding for health IT and that certainly should move the needle quickly. There might be said that there’s a dichotomy in health information; is it owned by the physician and it’s their medical record or, is it owned by the patient. I understand that you’re on the board of advisors of a company that has a product, MyMedicalRecord. I’ve seen it and it’s a wonderful personal health record. I wonder if you can tell us about that?

Congressman Gephardt: Well, it really is a very competent personal health record which I feel very strongly about, both in terms of personal privacy, which is very important to every individual in the country, but also in terms of engaging individuals in their own health care status and in their own health care practices. If we leave all of the IT with providers and clinics and health insurance companies, we’re really not going to adequately involve individuals in their own health care. I’m a big believer in education and information and engaging individuals in what they have to do to keep and improve their health status. So I think My Medical Records.com is a very important effort in that respect.

Eric Fishman, MD.: When I was a medical student, it was obviously many years ago, one of the sentences I remember hearing loud and clear, “Speak with your patients, they'll tell you what's wrong with them."

Congressman Gephardt: Exactly

Eric Fishman, MD.: The first two letters of MyMedicalRecord says it all. Now, there aren’t many people who know more about HIPAA than yourself. I understand that the Stimulus Act does change the HIPAA application to some of the personal health record entities. I wonder if you have any information you'd care to share about how HIPAA compliance, which as a physician I need to be very mindful of, applies to some of these personal health record entities?

Congressman Gephardt: I don't think there's going to be a big change. I think the original HIPAA provisions, which are very important for people's privacy rights, will still be in place. I do hope that some of the monies that go to providers, doctors, hospitals, other providers for Healthcare IT, will flow into individuals so that individuals get some financial help because I think the only true way to have privacy is to have everybody have their own personal set of records for healthcare.

Eric Fishman, MD.: Is there anything else you'd like to tell the viewers on this subject?

Congressman Gephardt: Well, I just think we've got a great healthcare system, but it needs to work better than it does and health information is an important part of that. I'm also working in the area of innovation, with some of the universities, biotech and pharmaceutical companies. We need to do better in that area and finally, we need to get people more engaged in their own health care status. If we can do those three things, I think we'll have an optimal health care system in this country.

Eric Fishman, MD.: Do you believe that the Stimulus Act will, in fact, accomplish its stated goals of having an interoperable nationwide health information system in the near future?

Congressman Gephardt: I think it's a very good start. I'm afraid it's going to cost more than $18 or $20 billion in the end, but this is a great start and it's something to build on for the future. It is amazing to me that we can be in 2009 and still be so far behind in terms of applying information technologies to the health-care field. I’m on the board of a number of companies that do different things. One of them makes steel, one of them is in telecom, and one of them is in other areas. They spend millions of dollars on information technology.

Eric Fishman, MD.: Health care certainly does spend a smaller amount of their budgets on IT than many other industries as you just alluded to and I think that’s changing immediately.

Congressman Gephardt: Absolutely. It has to.

Eric Fishman, MD.: I thank you for your time Congressman.

Congressman Gephardt: Thank you.

Eric Fishman, MD.: I appreciate it very much. This is Dr. Eric Fishman with EHRtv. We've been discussing personal health records with Congressman Richard Gephardt. Until next time, thank you.

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