Is your power fleeting? Or is it here to stay? Find out later this year in our Aug. 25 issue when we rank the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare for 2003. More precisely, when you rank them.
This year, not only will Modern Healthcare readers vote for who they think are the industry's top movers and shakers, they'll also determine who makes the ballot. Here's how it will work:
Starting on May 5 and running through June 13, readers can visit the magazine's Web site, modernhealthcare.com, and nominate a person who they think should be on the final ballot to determine the 100 Most Powerful. Readers can nominate as many individuals as they choose.
Modern Healthcare will assemble a list of the 300 people who received the most nominations. That list will be posted as a ballot on modernhealthcare.com.
From that ballot, readers will vote for the 10 people they think are the industry's most powerful people. The final ballot will be posted on our Web site on June 30 and voting will run through July 25. We will rank the 100 people who received the most votes from our readers and publish the results in the Aug. 25 issue of the magazine.
It's your industry. It's your vote. If you have any questions about the process, please give me a call at 312-649-5439.
Meanwhile, members of Modern Healthcare's Most Powerful Class of 2002 were well-represented last week at a one-day conference in Washington called "The American Hospital: What Does the Future Hold?" Reporter Vince Galloro previewed the meeting in our April 21 issue (p. 28), and I had the pleasure of attending the event as an invited member of the media. Among the presenters were Uwe Reinhardt (No. 10); Richard Clarke (No. 37); Paul Ginsburg (No. 51); Jeff Goldsmith (No. 53); and Chip Kahn (No. 88).
The best line from the event came from Reinhardt, not surprisingly, who has developed his own art form-a combination of health services research, social commentary and stand-up comedy. Discussing attempts by payers to reimburse providers based on the care they provide, Reinhardt said a president of a Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan recently told him that the plan classifies hospitals into three groups: those with one crane; those with two cranes; and those with three cranes.
But the best attack on conventional wisdom came from Catherine McLaughlin, a health management and policy professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In her presentation, which was the last of the day, McLaughlin discussed the results of some original research that she's working on that show that an increase-even a substantial one-in the number of uninsured people in the country won't affect hospitals that much. That's because, contrary to popular belief, uninsured people are not big users of healthcare services. Consequently, those people who may move from the ranks of the insured to the ranks of the uninsured won't be a drain on hospital resources. Those folks who are traditionally big users of healthcare services are least likely to lose their coverage because they're untouchable politically, such as the handicapped, the blind and pregnant women.
If McLaughlin's findings are true, the hospital lobby could lose one of its most powerful weapons in the fight to wrest increased Medicare and Medicaid funding from the federal government-the argument that more money is needed to cover the care provided to the waves of uninsured patients swamping hospitals nationwide. On the other hand, such data could make it easier for a federal uninsured bill to pass if it turned out to cost less to provide coverage than we have thought.
All the papers presented at the meeting will be published in the September/October issue of Health Affairs.
What do you think? Write us with your comments. Via e-mail, it's [email protected]; by fax, dial 312-280-3183.