Healthcare Business News

19 newbies join 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: August 23, 2014 - 12:01 am ET

Nineteen people made Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list for the first time this year.

The highest-ranking newcomer is Bernard Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, who finished second behind President Barack Obama.

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Tyson is focusing on wellness and affordability as part of his effort to “turn this sickness industry upside down,” he said. “There's no question that we have to acknowledge that our patients are now 'customers,' and they're starting to behave that way, just like in any other industry,” Tyson said. That means improving quality, service and affordability, while finding new ways of achieving better health for the American people, he added.

Another newcomer is Dr. Andrew Sussman, associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark Corp. and president of its MinuteClinic division. CVS has 860 retail clinics inside its stores around the country and plans to increase that number to 1,500 by 2017. CVS has clinical affiliations with 40 regional healthcare systems. Sussman said that number will also continue to grow.

“Healthcare reform will work much better with more points of access,” he said.While the nurse practitioners who staff the MinuteClinic locations still mostly provide acute care, Sussman said services are expanding to include hypertension control, smoking cessation and weight-loss assistance. Telemedicine services are also being tested.

CVS made news this year by announcing it would stop selling tobacco products by Oct. 1. “Selling cigarettes is antithetical to what a healthcare company's role is,” said Sussman, No. 90 on this year's ranking.

Also making a first appearance on the list is Robert McDonald. The new Veterans Affairs secretary and former CEO of Procter & Gamble Co. ranks No. 47. Like Tyson, McDonald promises to stress customer service across the troubled VA health system. Speaking at the Blinded Veterans Association's national convention Aug. 19, McDonald announced that a robust new system for measuring customer satisfaction at VA facilities will capture real-time, site-specific information. He added that VA staff also will be reaching out to leading private healthcare systems to learn how they're tracking patient access.

Other newcomers are HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, No. 3; HCA President and CEO R. Milton Johnson, No. 6; the CMS' Dr. Patrick Conway, No. 20; Providence Health & Services President and CEO Dr. Rodney Hochman, No. 22; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Director Richard Kronick, No. 23; HCA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jonathan Perlin, No. 31; Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, No. 33; Dr. Ram Raju, president of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., No. 37; American Nurses Association CEO Marla Weston, No. 45; National Patient Safety Foundation President Dr. Tejal Gandhi, No. 49; Johns Hopkins Medicine's Dr. Peter Pronovost, No. 52; National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. Karen DeSalvo, No. 56; Institute of Medicine President Dr. Victor Dzau, No. 70; Johns Hopkins Medicine CEO Dr. Paul Rothman, No. 86; Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, No. 88; and Healthcare Financial Management Association President and CEO Joseph Fifer, No. 99.

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