The top 10 … Unsurprisingly, the chief architects of healthcare reform dominated the top 10 spots on this year's 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare, among them President Barack Obama (No. 1); Senate Finance Committee leaders Max Baucus (D-Mont.) (No. 4) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) (No. 5); and Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (No. 9).
100 Most Powerful at a glance
Grassley is one of only 12 members of this year's list to have been named to all eight of the annual rankings by Modern Healthcare. Orszag is one 38 people appearing on the list for the first time this year. Last year, Hillary Rodham Clinton, now secretary of state, was the only woman in the top 10. In 2009, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, commanded the No. 2 and No. 3 slots, respectively, with Carolyn Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, ranking No. 7.
Doctors in the house … The physician lobby had a strong showing this year, with heads of major medical associations dominating the newcomers' list of the 100 Most Powerful. Among them was Jack Lewin, CEO of the American College of Cardiology (No. 80); Ted Epperly, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (No. 84); John Tooker, executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Physicians (No. 86), and J. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association (No. 95).
Christine Cassel, president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine, a physician credentialing organization, is another newcomer to the ranking at No. 34.
IT present but less visible … For the most part, the health IT giants that dominated last year's list had a less visible presence in 2009, despite all of the attention given to the push for IT in healthcare. Steve Case, co-founder of America Online and founder, chairman and CEO of Revolution Health Group, who captured the No. 1 spot last year, wasn't even on this year's list. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, slipped all the way from No. 2 last year to No. 52 this year.
Not everyone in health IT fell back on the list, however. Mark Leavitt, chairman of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, rose to No. 58 this year, from his No. 69 ranking in 2008. Leavitt has been named to the ranking for the past three consecutive years.
And, the top 10 ranking for David Blumenthal, national coordinator for healthcare IT, indicates that electronic health records and other IT advances are still very much on the minds of Modern Healthcare readers. Blumenthal placed No. 6 this year. He has been on the ranking of the 100 Most Powerful four times previously, then as director of the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, most recently in 2006 when he ranked No. 68.
Some fell, some got right back up … Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, jumped from No. 87 in 2008 to No. 10 this year, whereas Trevor Fetter, president and CEO of Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, fell from No. 14 in 2008 to No. 53 this year. Fetter is another of the 12 members of this year's list to have been named to all eight of the annual rankings.
Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, the private insurance industry's main lobbying arm, took a slight dip, from No. 44 last year to No. 50 this year. Ignagni also has been named to all eight of the annual rankings. Angela Braly, president and CEO of insurance giant WellPoint, Indianapolis, ranked at No. 41 this year, down from No. 25 in 2008. On the quality side, Mark Chassin, president of the Joint Commission, jumped from No. 62 in 2008 to No. 48, his second consecutive year on the ranking. Donald Berwick, president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, landed at the No. 20 spot, down slightly from No. 17 last year. Berwick also is one of the 12 on this year's list to have been included on all eight of the annual rankings.
Hospitals and more hospitals … Richard Umbdenstock, president of the American Hospital Association, who's been voted to the 100 Most Powerful for five consecutive years, ranked No. 47 this year, a slight drop from last year's No. 43. On the for-profit side, Chip Kahn, president of the Federation of American Hospitals, ranks No. 67 this year vs. No. 73 in 2008. He is yet another executive to have been included on all eight of Modern Healthcare's annual rankings.
Sister Mary Jean Ryan, chairman and CEO of SSM Health Care, St. Louis, ranks No. 71 this year, from the No. 13 spot last year. Ryan has been named to the annual ranking seven out of the eight years it has been conducted. Lloyd Dean, president and CEO of Catholic Healthcare West, who has been on the list five times, jumped to No. 32 from his ranking of No. 57 last year. Joseph Swedish, president and CEO of Trinity Health, Novi, Mich., did slightly better this year, climbing from No. 76 in 2008 to claim the No. 60 spot this year. He's been named to the annual ranking four times. Bill Carpenter, president and CEO of LifePoint Hospitals, Brentwood, Tenn., is a newcomer, debuting at No. 27.
No stranger to controversy ... Betsy McCaughey, another newcomer on this year's list at No. 72, founder of the organization RID: Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, is no newcomer to controversy. She's known for her op-ed articles in the early 1990s that offered scathing analysis of the healthcare reform plan by the Clinton administration, and more recently for attacking end-of-life counseling provisions in the current reform proposals in Congress. She has been widely criticized for inaccuracies in her statements on health reform.
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