Among the seven people who have made the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare rankings in all 12 years Modern Healthcare has compiled the list, three are heads of advocacy associations: Chip Kahn, CEO, Federation of American Hospitals, an association for investor-owned hospitals, No. 33; RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the National Nurses United union, No. 35; and Karen Ignagni, CEO of the America's Health Insurance Plans trade association, No. 75.
Another 12-timer is Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation healthcare and policy research organization, No. 32 on this year's ranking. On the organization's website, Altman says the goal of the foundation is to “serve as a source of trusted information in a healthcare world dominated by vested interests.”
DeMoro says the uncertainty in healthcare is creating confusion along with opportunities for consultants who are selling technology as a cure-all for shrinking profits and increasing labor costs. “We're facing an environment where technology is just considered to be the god in the healthcare sector and the challenge for the nurse is to actually have the caring process continue for the patients,” she says. Now, she adds, “nurses are supposed to relate to the machine rather than the patient.”
In addition to the Most Influential perennials, more than two dozen association or advocacy group leaders are included in this year's ranking.
While hospital associations, medical societies and other like-minded organizations have long been involved in shaping healthcare policy, consumer-oriented organizations such as AARP are gaining prominence. A. Barry Rand, the organization's CEO, says AARP's involvement in healthcare is nothing new.