For No. 9 on the list, Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the placement reflects a promotion, as he replaced Dr. David Blumenthal as the country's national coordinator for health information technology.
Other newcomers in the top 10 include Johnson & Johnson CEO William Weldon at No. 8 and Therese “Terri” Vaughan, CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, at No. 10.
Vaughan noted how her organization's profile has risen in healthcare circles ever since it was mentioned more than 20 times in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. She says the organization's conference calls used to have about 50 participants, but “now there are several hundred, because so many more people are paying attention” to NAIC activities.
Dr. Robert Wah, a former deputy national coordinator, also made the list for the first time and placed 12th. Wah, chief medical officer for the Computer Sciences Corp., has made Modern Healthcare's list of the 50 Most Powerful Physician Executives three times. This summer, he took over as chairman of the American Medical Association's board of trustees.
“It's an honor, obviously, to be included on this, and I'm privileged to be involved in the highest levels of healthcare during an interesting time,” he says.
Other politicians new to the list include Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) at No. 21 and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the former chairman and CEO of Columbia/HCA, who finished at No. 49.
Dr. John Noseworthy, who took over as president and CEO of the Mayo Clinic in November 2009, made the list for the first time and finished at No. 71. Other hospital and system executives who have held their posts for a number of years but made the list for the first time after assuming leadership roles in prominent associations include Teri Fontenot, president and CEO of Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge, La.; and Rulon Stacey, president and CEO of the Poudre Valley Health System in Fort Collins, Colo.
Fontenot, chair-elect of the American Hospital Association, finished at No. 79. Stacey, who is board chairman of the American College of Healthcare Executives, comes in at No. 88.
“I've always looked at this list in the past,” Fontenot says. “To be included in that company is really nice for me."