The 100 'most influential' health care leaders, according to Modern Healthcare

Modern Healthcare on Saturday released its 17th annual ranking of the "100 Most Influential People in Healthcare," awarding President Trump the top spot for his administration's broad efforts to change the health care industry, Politico's "Pulse" reports.

Congratulations to Advisory Board members named to the list

How Modern Healthcare made its list

For the list, Modern Healthcare accepted nominations between March 12 and May 15. The publication then asked readers to cast ballots for their preferred candidates among 300 finalists.

Modern Healthcare's senior editors made final determinations on who made the list, taking readers' votes into consideration.  

'Disruptors' take top spots

With this year's list, Modern Healthcare aimed to spotlight the disruption taking place in the health care industry, awarding top spots to those seeking to change the industry's status quo.

Trump and senior leaders in his administration topped the list because, according to Modern Healthcare, they "caused seismic shifts in the health care landscape" through a number of actions, including allowing states to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries, halting the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, expanding access to short-term health plans, and reducing funding for ACA navigator groups.

Trump administration officials included in the top 25 of this year's rankings include:

  1. HHS Secretary Alex Azar;
  2. CMS Administrator Seema Verma; and
  3. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

Modern Healthcare awarded its No. 2 spot to a group of a dozen leaders across different sectors of the health care industry, describing these individuals as a "small group of executives" who, "along with … Trump, are working to break health care out of the status quo."

The executives included in the No. 2 spot are:

  • Mark Bertolini, chair and CEO of Aetna;
  • Jeff Bezos, chair and CEO of Amazon;
  • Bruce Broussard, president and CEO of Humana;
  • Tim Cook, CEO of Apple;
  • David Feinberg, president and CEO of Geisinger Health;
  • Marc Harrison, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare;
  • Rod Hochman, president and CEO of Providence St. Joseph Health;
  • Stephen Klasko, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health;
  • Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health;
  • Larry Renfro, vice chair of UnitedHealth Group and founder and managing partner of Optum Ventures;
  • Anthony Tersigni, president and CEO of Acension; and
  • Bernard Tyson, chair and CEO of Kaiser Permanente.

(The Daily Briefing is published by Advisory Board Research, a division of Optum, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group.)

Hospital leaders on the list

In addition to the hospital and health system leaders included in Modern Healthcare's No. 2 spot, others among the top 25 of this year's rankings include:

  1. R. Milton Johnson, chair and CEO of HCA Healthcare;
  2. Jim Skogsbergh, co-president and co-CEO of Advocate Aurora Health;
  3. Nick Turkal, co-president and co-CEO of Advocate Aurora Health;
  4. Lloyd Dean, president and CEO of Dignity Health;
  5. Richard Gilfillan, CEO of Trinity Health; and 
  6. Eugene Woods, CEO of Atrium Health.

Other recognitions

Also among Modern Healthcare's top 25 honorees were:

  1. Rick Pollack, CEO of the American Hospital Association;
  2. Gail Boudreaux, president and CEO of Anthem; and
  3. Stefano Pessina, executive vice chair and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Individuals who have made Modern Healthcare's list every year so far include:

  1. Chip Kahn, president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals;
  2. Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation; and
  3. Wayne Smith, chair and CEO of Community Health Systems (Modern Healthcare's "100 Most Influential People in Healthcare 2017" list, 8/18; Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 8/18; Kacik, Modern Healthcare, 8/18; Modern Healthcare list methodology, 8/18; Diamond, "Pulse," Politico, 8/20)

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