The healthcare industry is comprised of a myriad of sectors influencing the overall landscape, including technology, payers, hospitals, health systems, labor unions, politicians, advocacy groups, researchers and more.
The 50 people on this list are from each of those arenas.
They wield an enormous amount of influence. As heads of the most powerful organizations in healthcare, the following men and women are poised to make waves in the industry as we head into 2015 — what is sure to be another year of change.
Note: People are presented in alphabetical order by last name. This list will appear in the January 2015 print edition of Becker’s Hospital Review.
Kirk Adams. Mr. Adams is the international executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union and leads SEIU Healthcare, which is one of the largest healthcare unions in the United States. In fact, the union represents more than 1 million nurses, physicians and healthcare workers in North America. In 2013, SEIU was involved in 94 union elections, more than any other healthcare union in the nation. Mr. Adams is a long-time organizer and political activist, as he started organizing in 1980 with the United Labor Unions, which affiliated with SEIU in 1984. He took his current job originally in 2007 and played a role in the passage of healthcare reform, then did a brief stint as chief of staff for SEIU’s international president in 2010 before resuming this position later that year.
Mark Bertolini. Mr. Bertolini serves as chairman, CEO and president of Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna, one of the nation’s largest healthcare insurers. Aetna had more than $47.2 billion in 2013 revenue and serves about 44 million people. Mr. Bertolini took on the role of CEO in November 2010 and added the chairman title in April 2011. Under his leadership, Aetna has made major moves in the accountable care space: As of June 2014, it has 9.1 percent of the nation’s commercial accountable care organization contracts, according to Leavitt Partners. Prior to joining Aetna, Mr. Bertolini had executive positions with Cigna, NYLCare Health Plans and SelectCare.
Leah Binder. Ms. Binder has served as CEO of The Leapfrog Group, an employer-based coalition advocating for better hospital transparency, quality and safety, since 2008. Leapfrog is perhaps most well-known for its Hospital Safety Score, which assigns a letter grade, A through F, to participating hospitals based on how safe the hospital is for its patients. This fall, 2,520 hospitals were issued a Hospital Safety Score. She has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare. Before joining LeapFrog, Ms. Binder was vice president of Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, Maine. She has also been a senior policy advisor for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Paul Black. As CEO, president and director of Allscripts, Mr. Black leads the direction of one of the top EHR vendors in the nation. He took the reins as CEO in December 2012, joining Allscripts from Cerner, where he worked in various capacities over a 13-year span, including serving as COO. Allscripts has grown under Mr. Black’s leadership, as its total bookings for the first six months of 2014 totaled $457 million, up 17 percent from the same period in 2013.
John Boehner. The Republican representative from Ohio is the speaker of the House and holds the potential to alter the course of healthcare reform. Mr. Boehner has been a staunch opponent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act since it passed in 2010, when he called for its repeal. His feelings have not changed since. In November 2014, he and the House Republicans filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration focused on the administration’s decision to postpone the employer mandate to 2015. The suit also alleges President Barack Obama gave money to insurance companies without having the funds appropriated by Congress, thus unlawfully transferring funds.
Julie Brill. Ms. Brill has been a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission since April 2010. Since then, she has focused on numerous issues directly impacting the healthcare industry, such as consumer privacy protection and competition in healthcare in light of the rapid consolidation in the industry. In 2013, she discussed the FTC’s policies around accountable care organizations, stating the agency has increased its enforcement of antitrust laws when it comes to hospitals acquiring physician groups, especially those with many specialists. In the past, she wrote the FTC’s unanimous decision in ProMedica v. FTC, dissolving the merger of two Toledo, Ohio, hospitals. Ms. Brill has been recognized numerous times for her work, including receiving the International Association of Privacy Processionals Leader of the Year Award and being elected to the American Law Institute.
Bruce Broussard. Mr. Broussard has served as president and CEO of Louisville, Ky.-based Humana since January 2013. He first joined the health insurer in December 2011 as president after serving as CEO of McKesson Specialty/U.S. Oncology. Humana has more than 900 accountable care agreements for Medicare Advantage patients in 43 states and Puerto Rico, and it continues to enter into more deals under Mr. Broussard’s leadership — new relationships in 2014 include those with Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. and UC San Diego Health System. Mr. Broussard’s influence expands beyond Humana, as he is a member of the board of directors of America’s Health Insurance Plans, also serving on AHIP’s executive committee.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell. President Barack Obama nominated Ms. Burwell as the secretary of Health and Human Services in April 2014, and she was confirmed and sworn into the position in June. During her confirmation hearing, Ms. Burwell called the botched rollout and technical problems with Healthcare.gov, the federal exchange site, “unacceptable” and vowed to repair issues as the head of HHS. She seems to have succeeded in that regard, as Healthcare.gov ran fairly smoothly during the fall 2014 open enrollment period. Beyond overseeing Healthcare.gov, Ms. Burwell is responsible for the full implementation of the PPACA. Before joining HHS, she served as director of the Office of Management and Budget and was president of the Walmart Foundation prior to joining the Obama administration.
Jonathan Bush, MBA. Mr. Bush, nephew of George H.W. Bush and cousin of George W. Bush, is the co-founder, president, CEO and chairman of athenahealth, one of the nation’s top-ranked health IT software vendors. In fact, it was ranked as the top overall software vendor and top overall physician practice vendor in 2013 by KLAS Research. Mr. Bush is a published author, penning “Where Does it Hurt? An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Fixing Health Care,” which was published in 2014. In it, Mr. Bush advocates for a “revolution” in the industry, through new business and payment models and new technologies to empower patients. Mr. Bush worked as an EMT in New Orleans and was trained as a medic in the U.S. Army before founding athenahealth.
William Carpenter III. LifePoint Hospitals in Brentwood, Tenn., is one of the nation’s largest for-profit health systems, operating about 68 hospitals in 21 states. Mr. Carpenter has been with LifePoint since it was established in 1999. He has served as CEO of the system since 2006 and added the title of chairman of the board in 2010. Under his leadership, the system has pursued an aggressive M&A strategy, acquiring three hospitals in the second quarter of 2014 alone. In the third quarter of 2014, the system posted $1.17 billion in revenues from continuing operations, up 29.6 percent from the same quarter in 2013. In addition to leading the constantly expanding LifePoint Hospitals, Mr. Carpenter is also a trustee and past board chair for the Federation of American Hospitals. He has also served as chairman of the Nashville Health Care Council board.
John Castellani. Mr. Castellani is president and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, representing and advocating for the nation’s leading biopharmaceutical research companies from its Washington, D.C., headquarters and 10 other locations in the U.S. and Tokyo. Mr. Castellani leads PhRMA in its mission to advance public policies “that support innovative medical research, yield progress for patients today and provide hope for the treatments and cures of tomorrow.” PhRMA spent nearly $13 million on lobbying expenses through from January to November 2014, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Before joining PhRMA, Mr. Castellani was president and CEO of Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs from U.S. companies working to promote the nation’s economy.
Mark Chassin, MD, MPH. Dr. Chassin, a board-certified internist who practiced emergency medicine for 12 years, is president and CEO of The Joint Commission. The nonprofit organization accredits and certifies more than 20,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the U.S. Dr. Chassin is also president of the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, which was established in 2009 under his leadership. The center helps hospitals address safety and quality issues like healthcare-associated infections, surgical site infections and wrong site surgeries. Before joining the Joint Commission, Dr. Chassin was a professor and founding chairman of the Department of Health Policy at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and executive vice president for excellence in patient care at The Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Patrick Conway, MD. As deputy administrator for innovation and quality and CMO of CMS, Dr. Conway leads the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation within CMS. CCSQ, which has an annual budget of more than $2 billion, oversees CMS’ quality measures, value-based purchasing programs and quality improvement efforts, among other initiatives. The CMMI, established by the PPACA with a $10 billion budget through 2020, is responsible for testing new payment and delivery models, like ACOs and medical homes. Dr. Conway, a pediatrician, has had work published in numerous academic journals and has received the HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service, the Secretary’s highest distinction for excellence.
Tim Cook. Apple, the worldwide technology giant, has taken huge strides into the healthcare industry lately, with Tim Cook leading the way as CEO. In June 2014, Apple introduced HealthKit, a mobile health-tracking platform included in iOS 8, and the app launched in September. Provider organizations and EHR providers alike then scrambled to include HealthKit in their operations. Systems like Stanford (Calif.) Children’s Health and Duke Medicine in Durham, N.C., launched pilot programs to incorporate the platform into care plans for chronic disease patients, for instance. Cerner announced plans to integrate with the HealthKit platform through its consumer-focused mobile platform, Cerner Wellness, and app, HealthyNow; and Ochsner Health System in New Orleans became the first Epic user to fully integrate with HealthKit in October 2014.
David Cordani, MBA. Mr. Cordani became president and CEO of health insurer Cigna in 2009 and has since led the company’s transformation into a health services company and delivered nearly 15 percent compounded annual growth for revenue and adjusted income from operations from 2009 through 2013. Under his leadership, the payer has invested heavily in accountable care — in July 2014, the company achieved its goal of creating 100 collaborative care arrangements reaching 1 million customers. Mr. Cordani — who has completed more than 125 triathlons — has been with Cigna for more than 25 years.
Toby Cosgrove, MD. Dr. Cosgrove has worked with the world-renown, $6.5 billion Cleveland Clinic for roughly 40 years, as he joined the system in 1975 as a cardiac surgeon. He served in numerous capacities before being appointed CEO in 2004, including helping develop Cleveland Clinic Innovations, the technology transfer and commercialization arm of the system. In 2014, President Barack Obama offered Dr. Cosgrove, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, the position of Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Cosgrove declined, opting to continue leading Cleveland Clinic and its foray into Abu Dhabi, where the system is building a hospital expected to open in 2015.
RoseAnn DeMoro. National Nurses United is the largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in U.S. history, and Ms. DeMoro is its executive director. NNU represents roughly 185,000 RNs in every state. Under her guidance, the union has spearheaded many national nurse-centric campaigns, the most notable of 2014 being the national Ebola day of action. As part of that campaign, tens of thousands of nurses in the U.S. went on strike, picketed or held vigils to call attention to hospitals’ inadequate preparedness for fighting the Ebola virus. Eventually, California announced new, stringent Ebola personal protective equipment regulations for its hospitals, which the NNU claimed as a win after pushing for such regulations.
Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH. Dr. DeSalvo, a general internal medicine and geriatrics physician, joined HHS as the National Coordinator for Health IT at the ONC in late 2013. In this role, Dr. DeSalvo is the nation’s leader on all things related to health IT, including the meaningful use process. However, in October 2014, Dr. DeSalvo joined HHS’ Ebola response team and became the acting assistant secretary for health, working directly with HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. While serving in this capacity, she continues to chair the Health IT Policy and lead the development of the Interoperability Roadmap. Dr. DeSalvo has a background in public health, earning her master’s in public health and her medical degree from Tulane University. She also earned a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Judy Faulkner. Ms. Faulkner founded Epic, one of the largest technology and EHR companies in the nation, in 1979. She is now CEO of the privately held company, which counts healthcare giants like Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore and UCLA Health in Los Angeles as clients. More than 70 percent of HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 hospitals use EpicCare inpatient EHR system. Epic’s client base is growing, as CVS Health’s retail clinics, MinuteClinics, announced plans to switch to Epic EHR in 2014. However, Epic has been targeted for not being interoperable with other EHRs, a claim Ms. Faulkner denies. Epic says 680,000 pieces of patient information were exchanged in September 2014 alone, more than twice as many that were exchanged in June.
Trevor Fetter. Mr. Fetter serves as president and CEO of the third-largest for-profit hospital operator in the nation, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare. He has served as president since November 2002 and added the CEO title in September 2003. As Tenet’s leader, Mr. Fetter oversees the system’s 80 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient centers, six health plans and more than 105,000 employees. Tenet saw paying admissions grow 6.1 percent and emergency department visits go up 5.1 percent in the third quarter of fiscal 2014. The chain estimates the PPACA contributed to 40 percent of its volume growth in the quarter. Mr. Fetter joined Tenet in 1995 and served as its CFO from 1996 to 1999.
Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. Dr. Frieden heads one of the nation’s most influential healthcare organizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Atlanta. Though he has led the CDC since June 2009, Dr. Frieden became a household name in 2014 as the public face of the CDC’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the U.S. The CDC and Dr. Frieden have led the nation’s response to the deadly virus, sending staff to West Africa, assisting with Ebola patients in Dallas and New York, and creating and updating guidance on how providers nationwide should handle Ebola treatment. Dr. Frieden earned his medical degree and master’s in public health from Columbia University and completed infectious disease training at Yale University.
Richard Gilfillan, MD, MBA. Dr. Gilfillan has more than 25 years of healthcare leadership experience in both for-profit and nonprofit sectors. He launched the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in 2010 and served as its first director for roughly three years. The CMMI was created by the PPACA and oversees the federal government’s accountable care organization programs, among other programs. He stepped down from that role in June and subsequently became president and CEO of Trinity Health in Livonia, Mich., formerly CHE Trinity, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the nation. Dr. Gilfillan is a family medicine physician with an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Gary Gottlieb, MD. Partners HealthCare in Boston is one of the most influential health systems in the nation and Dr. Gottlieb became its president and CEO in 2010. Partners’ founding hospitals are Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and it now includes eight other acute-care hospitals as well as a managed care organization and specialty physicians. Partners received 31 percent of the money Massachusetts commercial payers spent on acute-care hospital services in 2012. Partners had plans to grow further with an acquisition of South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass., and Hallmark Health System in Melrose, Mass., but those mergers have been hampered because of the possible impact on prices in Massachusetts. As of this writing, the mergers had yet to be confirmed. Dr. Gottlieb announced plans to step down from his current role in July to lead Partners in Health, a nonprofit organization unaffiliated with Partners HealthCare that provides medical care in impoverished countries.
Stephen Hemsley. Mr. Hemsley helms the largest health insurance company in the nation by market share: UnitedHealth Group. He joined the company in 1997 and became CEO of the Minnetonka, Minn.-based payer in November 2006. He also sits on its board of directors. UnitedHealth Group has two prominent subsidiaries: Optum, which provides information and technology health services, and UnitedHealthcare, which provides healthcare coverage and benefits. UnitedHealth Group had revenues of $122.5 billion in 2013 and has been named the World’s Most Admired Company in the insurance and managed care sector each year since 2011 by Fortune.
Anthony Tersigni, EdD. Dr. Tersigni is the first president and CEO of Ascension, a Catholic healthcare organization and parent of St. Louis-based Ascension Health, the largest Catholic and nonprofit health system in the U.S. The system has 131 hospitals and more than 30 senior care facilities in 23 states and Washington, D.C. Other Ascension subsidiaries focus on different service areas like biomedical engineering, treasury management and venture capital investing. Ascension was formed in 2012 from a reorganization of Ascension Health, which was formed in 1999. Prior to becoming the first president and CEO of Ascension, Dr. Tersigni was president and CEO of Ascension Health. He also previously served as the system’s executive vice president and COO.
Elizabeth Holmes. Ms. Holmes dropped out of Stanford University and is now America’s youngest female billionaire. She founded and is CEO of Theranos, a laboratory diagnostics company poised to revolutionize healthcare. Its technology can perform dozens of blood tests using just 25 to 50 microliters of blood, meaning needles for blood draws could become a thing of the past. In addition to using less blood, Theranos’ tests also cost less than independent labs and have the potential to save the nation billions. Theranos has a valuation of $9 billion and a long-term partnership with Walgreens.
Karen Ignagni. Ms. Ignagni leads America’s Health Insurance Plans as president and CEO. AHIP, one of the largest healthcare lobbying firms in the nation, was created in 2003 from the merger of the American Association of Health Plans and the Health Insurance Association of America. The organization “advocates for public policies that expand access to affordable healthcare coverage to all Americans through a competitive marketplace that fosters choice, quality and innovation.” Ms. Ignagni gained experience through her time spent as president of AAHP, director of the AFL-CIO’s department of employee benefits and time in the government as a staff member on the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee and HHS.
R. Milton Johnson. Mr. Johnson took the reins at Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America — the second largest for-profit hospital company in the nation — in January 2014. He will also become chairman of HCA’s board of directors on Dec. 31, 2014. Previously, Mr. Johnson was HCA’s president and CFO. As its leader, Mr. Johnson oversees HCA’s 159 acute-care hospitals and 115 surgery centers spread throughout 20 states and England. HCA performs extremely well financially, as its net income from the third quarter of 2014 was up 9 percent, to $9.22 billion, over the net income from the same quarter in 2013. In October 2014, HCA raised its previously issued financial guidance ranges, predicting 2014 revenues between $36.5 billion and $37 billion.
Charles Kahn III. Mr. Kahn is president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, which represents more than 1,100 investor-owned, for-profit hospitals and health systems. Its members make up about 20 percent of all community hospitals. Mr. Kahn took his current role in 2001. He has extensive political and lobbying expertise — in fact, The Hill has named Mr. Khan as one of the top lobbyists for 14 consecutive years. Before joining the FAH, he led Health Insurance Association, which eventually merged with AAHP to become AHIP. His political experience dates back to the 1970s when he managed campaigns for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).
Sister Carol Keehan. Sr. Keehan serves as the ninth president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, a role she took on in October 2005. CHA advocates in Congress, the administration, federal agencies and policy organizations for its members. There are more than 600 Catholic hospitals in the U.S. Prior to joining CHA, Sr. Keehan served as chair of the board of Ascension Health’s Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, Fla. CHA, a voluntary membership association, represents Catholic healthcare organizations in every state and is the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry.
Richard Kronick, PhD. In August 2013, Dr. Kronick was named director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a part of HSS. AHRQ’s mission is to produce evidence to make healthcare safer, of higher quality and more accessible and affordable. The AHRQ serves several purposes, including creating patient safety tools and working with other organizations on evaluating the meaningful use program. Under the PPACA, the AHRQ is charged with investing in and developing patient-centered outcomes research. Before joining the AHRQ, Dr. Kronick oversaw the Office of Health Policy within HHS. Dr. Kronick is a published author and co-author of a proposal for universal health coverage in the U.S. Dr. Kronick holds a PhD in political science from the University of Rochester (N.Y.).
Kevin Lofton. Mr. Lofton has led Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives since 2003. CHI, one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the country based on number of acute-care hospitals, generated revenues of almost $13.9 billion in its fiscal 2014, provided $910 million in charity care and community benefit and has $21.8 billion in total assets. The system operates in 18 states and has 105 hospitals, including 30 critical access hospitals and three academic health centers. Not only does Mr. Lofton lead CHI, but he is also active in the American Hospital Association and served as chairman of the AHA board in 2007. He holds a master’s degree in health administration from Georgia State University in Atlanta.
James Madara, MD. Dr. Madara serves as executive vice president and CEO of the nation’s oldest and largest physician group, the American Medical Association. He took the job in July 2011 and in 2012 he unveiled a new, three-pronged strategic focus for the AMA: improving health outcomes, accelerating change in medical education, and professional satisfaction and practice sustainability. The AMA wields great influence in the healthcare industry, achieving more than 85 state legislative and regulatory victories in 2013 while experiencing its third consecutive year of membership growth. Before taking the helm at the AMA, Dr. Madara was CEO of the University of Chicago Medical Center and previously served as senior advisor with Leavitt Partners. He is a pathologist and expert on cell biology and gastrointestinal disease.
Robert McDonald, MBA. In July 2014, the U.S. Senate confirmed Mr. McDonald as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Mr. McDonald attended The United States Military Academy at West Point, served in the Army for five years and earned an MBA from Salt Lake City-based University of Utah. After that, he joined Procter & Gamble, where he rose from an entry-level position to chairman, president and CEO. Now as secretary of the VA, Mr. McDonald is tasked with fixing a broken health system, within which many hospitals falsified records and covered up treatment delays for the nation’s veterans. In his short time as VA secretary, he has already started making changes, announcing plans to fire about 1,000 workers over the capacity scandal, including the head of the VA hospital in Phoenix.
Larry Merlo. As president and CEO of CVS Health, Mr. Merlo leads a company with annual revenues of $127 billion, nearly 8,000 retail pharmacies and 900 walk-in medical clinics. He joined CVS/pharmacy in 1990 and eventually became president and CEO of CVS Health in 2011. Under his leadership, the system has taken giant strides in the healthcare landscape: It now has clinical affiliations with more than 40 hospitals and health systems around the country, through which CVS provides patients with access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs. Additionally, CVS started work on improving population health, eliminating tobacco products from its stores in October 2014 and switching to an Epic EHR system in its retail clinics to better connect and coordinate with provider organizations.
John Noseworthy, MD. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is regarded as the No. 1 hospital in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, and its president and CEO is Dr. Noseworthy. He has led the system since 2009 after he served as chair of its department of neurology. Throughout his career as CEO, Mayo Clinic has made great strides in healthcare innovation and improving care quality. For instance, in 2013, Dr. Noseworthy launched Mayo’s $5 billion, 20-year Destination Medical Center initiative to make its Rochester home a global medical hub. In 2014, the system partnered with IBM to pilot IBM’s Watson technology to match patients more quickly with clinical trials.
Margaret O’Kane. Ms. O’Kane is the founder and president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance, a private, nonprofit organization formed in 1990. The NCQA accredits health plans in every state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico that cover 109 million Americans. To become accredited, health plans face a set of more than 60 standards and report on performance in more than 40 areas. Under Ms. O’Kane’s leadership, 85 percent of new marketplace health plans chose NCQA as their accreditor in 2013. Additionally, the NCQA accredits patient-centered medical homes and has granted PCMH Recognition to nearly 7,000 practices from 2008 through 2013. Ms. O’Kane was the 2012 recipient of the Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership. She holds a master’s degree in health administration and planning from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
President Barack Obama. President Obama is arguably the most powerful politician in the U.S. and is certainly one of the most powerful people in the healthcare industry. He was the driving force behind the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signing it into law in 2010. The PPACA, also known as Obamacare, changed the American healthcare landscape forever, establishing accountable care organizations, value-based purchasing, bundled payments, readmission penalties and increased healthcare insurance coverage. However, the future of President Obama’s brainchild is in jeopardy, as the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could invalidate health insurance subsidies, a major part of the law. Regardless, the PPACA has already started the shift from volume- to value-based care in the U.S.
Larry Page. The technology giant Google has entered into healthcare in a big way under the leadership of Larry Page, its CEO and co-founder. Fortune has called Mr. Page the most ambitious CEO of the universe, and lately his ambitions seem focused on upending the healthcare industry. One of the first places Google tested its wearable computer Google Glass was in operating rooms to improve surgeries, and many hospitals are experimenting with ways to incorporate the technology into their functions. Also, in 2014, Google launched its mobile health and fitness tracking platform, Google Fit. Google’s next big data project, Baseline Study, aims at discovering indicators of health to help physicians better identify and predict disease. And, finally, Google researchers are working on a cancer-detecting pill. With all these healthcare-focused projects, Mr. Page and Google are poised to influence the industry in a major way.
Neal Patterson. Mr. Patterson co-founded a company in 1979 with two colleagues that has now grown into the largest independent health information technology company in the nation — Cerner. Mr. Patterson is Cerner’s chairman and CEO. Under his leadership, Cerner has made major moves recently, including a planned $1.3 billion acquisition of Siemens Health Services (expected to close in the first quarter of 2015) and breaking ground on a $4.45 billion, 4.7 million-square-foot campus in Kansas City, Mo. In 2014, Cerner landed on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s most innovative publicly traded companies at No. 22. In addition to co-founding Cerner, Mr. Patterson also co-founded the First Hand Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing assistance to kids with critical health needs.
Chief Justice John Roberts. Chief Justice John Roberts was nominated to be chief justice of the United States by President George W. Bush and took his seat in September 2005. Since that time, he has had a major impact on healthcare in the U.S., as he cast the deciding vote in the 2012 Supreme Court decision that upheld the PPACA but made Medicaid expansion optional for states. In 2014, the Supreme Court decided it will hear a lawsuit, King v. Burwell, challenging the legality of the PPACA’s tax subsidies for health insurance. Chief Justice Roberts will cast the swing vote in the case, again placing him in a position of power over the future of healthcare reform — if the subsidies are declared illegal, it would have a widespread effect on insurance markets and the healthcare industry. Chief Justice Roberts earned his law degree from Harvard Law School.
Jeffrey Romoff. As an integrated $11 billion health system with more than 62,000 employees, UPMC in Pittsburgh is a healthcare giant both in Pennsylvania and in the U.S. overall — and Mr. Romoff is at its helm. He started his career at the University of Pittsburgh in 1973, became president of UPMC in 1992 and added CEO to his title in 2006. Mr. Romoff and his nonprofit system continuously make headlines. In 2014, UPMC and health insurer Highmark resolved their contract dispute with a five-year transition plan, and the SEIU continued to seek to unionize Pennsylvania’s largest employer. Despite the turmoil, UPMC’s operating revenue rose to about $11.42 billion in its fiscal year ended June 30, 2014, up 12.1 percent from 2013.
Scott Serota. Mr. Serota heads the BlueCross BlueShield Association, a federation of 37 independent Blue Cross Blue Shield companies, as president and CEO. The Blues system is the nation’s largest health insurer, covering one in three Americans. More than 96 percent of hospitals in the U.S. contract with Blue companies for healthcare delivery. Mr. Serota took on his current role in 2000 after serving as the Blues’ COO for two years. Mr. Serota also has experience shaping public policy, as President George W. Bush appointed him to the Policy Committee of the White House Conference on Aging, and Mr. Serota also served as chairman of the Subcommittee on Health.
Wayne Smith. Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, a for-profit hospital operator whose affiliates own, operate or lease 207 hospitals in 29 states, is led by Mr. Smith, who is chairman, president and CEO. In 2014, Mr. Smith oversaw the completion of CHS’ $7.6 billion acquisition of Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates. The deal made CHS the largest for-profit hospital operator in the nation. Beyond the HMA acquisition, Mr. Smith has led CHS through several other major projects, including a clinical quality alliance with Cleveland Clinic. Mr. Smith served as president and COO of Humana before joining CHS in 1997.
Joseph Swedish. Mr. Swedish is one of the rare healthcare executives to make the jump from a provider organization to a payer organization. He was previously with Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, but following that organization’s merger with Newtown Square, Pa.-based Catholic Health East, he left to become CEO of Indianapolis-based Wellpoint, now called Anthem. Anthem is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies and is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Nearly 69 million people are served by its companies, including more than 37 million enrolled in its family of health plans.
Marilyn Tavenner, BSN. After serving more than a year as acting administrator of CMS, Ms. Tavenner was confirmed by Congress as the administrator of CMS in the spring of 2013. She replaced Donald Berwick, MD, who resigned in December 2011. She was previously the principal deputy administrator of CMS. Now, Ms. Tavenner manages the $820 billion federal agency that ensures healthcare coverage for 100 million Americans. Before beginning her work with the government, she spent 25 years with Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America, where she started as a nurse in one of the system’s hospitals. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in nursing, Ms. Tavenner also holds a master’s degree in hospital administration.
Kent Thiry. Mr. Thiry is the co-chairman and CEO of DaVita HealthCare Partners and CEO of HealthCare Partners. DaVita HealthCare Partners was formed when DaVita, a kidney care company, acquired HealthCare Partners, an operator of medical groups and physician networks, in 2012. During that merger, Mr. Thiry was DaVita’s chairman and CEO, a position he took in October 1999. Now, he oversees the newly formed organization that has roughly $12 billion in annual revenue. As of September 2014, DaVita Kidney Care providers served about 177,000 dialysis patients at 2,239 outpatient centers, and HealthCare Partners had 836,000 capitated members under its care as of September. Mr. Thiry holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Bernard Tyson. Mr. Tyson became chairman and CEO of Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente in 2013. His career with Kaiser, one of the nation’s leading integrated healthcare providers and nonprofit health plans, spans roughly 30 years. As chairman and CEO, Mr. Tyson oversees a system with annual operating revenue of more than $55 billion. Under his leadership, Kaiser Permanente has taken strides in retail health, partnering with Target to open Target Clinics staffed by Kaiser Permanente clinicians. In addition to leading Kaiser, Mr. Tyson serves on the board of directors of the American Heart Association and recently completed his term as chair of the Executive Leadership Council, an organization of African-American senior executives from Fortune 500 companies.
Rich Umbdenstock. Mr. Umbdenstock has led the American Hospital Association as president and CEO since 2007. The AHA is the largest hospital lobbying group in the nation, with more than 5,000 hospital and health system members and nearly $15 million spent on lobbying in 2014, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In addition to leading the AHA, Mr. Umbdenstock is vice chair of the National Quality Forum, serves on the board of Enroll America and co-chairs the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare Provider Council, among other appointments. This will be Mr. Umbdenstock’s last year leading the AHA, however, as he plans to retire at the end of 2015.
James Weinstein, DO. Dr. Weinstein, an internationally renowned spine surgeon, serves as president and CEO of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System in Lebanon, N.H. He is a proponent of advancing “informed choice,” making sure patients receive evidence-based, appropriate care. In that stead, in 1999 he established the first-in-the-nation Center for Shared Decision Making at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Before becoming CEO of the system, Dr. Weinstein was the president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic and director of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, where he built links between The Dartmouth Institute’s health services research and the clinic’s clinical care. In 2014, he co-authored a piece in Health Affairs with Jonathan Skinner and Elliott Fisher, MD, titled “The 125 Percent Solution: Fixing Variations in Health Care Prices.” In it, the authors advocate the idea of capping payments at 125 percent of Medicare rates everywhere in the country.
From Becker’s Hospital Review, by Heather Punke, December 8, 2014