Healthcare News & Insights

Movers and shakers: Modern Healthcare reveals ‘Most Influential’ people

Who are the movers and shakers when it comes to healthcare? Modern Healthcare recently answered that question with the publication of its 12th annual list of the “100 Most Influential People in Health Care.” 

The people on the list run the gamut from politicians and policy makers to hospital executives and insurance company leaders.  They’re people who are passionate about health care and live to change the system for the better.

While it’s not the first time to the show for many people on the list, it’s no easy feat to make it either, since the top 100 was compiled from 28,000 reader-submitted nominations. From the list of nominees, Modern Healthcare editors whittled down the group to 300 finalists and asked their readers to vote. These votes counted for 50% of the outcome and senior editors then determined the final ranking.

Managing the healthcare systems transformation

For only the second time since the list’s inception, a woman has risen to the top to hold the No. 1 spot as the most influential person in health care. This is her sixth time making the list and last year she held the fifth spot. Congratulations go to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), since 2009.

sebelius_kathleen-309-1Before her reign as the 21st U.S. HHS secretary, Sebelius  was governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009.

Now, she manages a $941 billion budget and has been given the task of moving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from mere words to reality, according to Modern Healthcare. This task would probably send most people running in the other direction, but not Sebelius.

She was chosen by Modern Healthcare readers and editors for her “handling of immediate concerns and implementation of programs whose effect will be felt for years to come.” Some of the things she’s been in charge of since taking her current position are expanding healthcare coverage, certifying electronic health records, promoting flu shots and responding to disasters.

And her work isn’t anywhere near done.

Managing the transformation of our healthcare system is a work in progress that’s going to take years and years to accomplish, and will take a steady, strong and creative hand to do it successfully.

Kudos to the top 10

The 2013 top 100 list  includes 15 newcomers, seven people who’ve made the list every year since its inception in 2002, and nine hospital and health system executives.

Here’s the top 10 of Modern Healthcare’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Health Care:

  1. Kathleen Sebelius, secretary, HHS
  2. Dr. John Kitzhaber, governor of Oregon (named the most influential physician executives in health care earlier this year by Modern Healthcare)
  3. Barack Obama, president of the United States
  4. Stephen Hemsley, president and CEO, UnitedHealth Group
  5. Marilyn Tavenner, CMS administrator
  6. Mark Bertolini, chairman, president and CEO, Aetna
  7. Richard Bracken, chairman and CEO, HCA
  8. Joseph Swedish, CEO, WellPoint
  9. George Halvorson, outgoing chairman, Kaiser Permanente
  10. Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO, Catholic Health Association (the first woman to top this list in 2007)
Source: Modern Healthcare‘s 100 Most Influential People in Health Care.

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