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Health industry power brokers

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Six of the country’s most influential health care leaders are from Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia region, according to readers of Modern Healthcare.

It’s a little like American Idol. Readers of the business magazine vote on industry movers and shakers. This year President Obama is No. 1 on the ranking. University of Pennsylvania researcher Linda Aiken is No. 68.

Aiken is an expert on the consequences of the hospital nursing shortage. Based on her research, she says California set limits on the maximum number of patients that nurses can care for.

Aiken: And we determined that if similar nurse workload limits were adopted in Pennsylvania and New Jersey hospitals that mortality following common surgeries could potentially be reduced by over 10 percent, translating to hundreds of lives saved every year.

Aiken leads the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at Penn.

CEO Alan Miller is number No. 93 on the magazine’s list of the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare. Miller’s King of Prussia company, Universal Health Services, is a for-profit health system chain.

Neil McLaughlin is Modern Healthcare’s managing editor.

Earlier this year it announced a tentative deal to combine with an organization called Psychiatric Solutions, so it would become one of the largest — if not the largest — behavioral health care providers in the country.

McLaughlin says the push to make health insurance companies pay equally for physical and psychological services could make the mental health care industry more profitable in coming years.

Other locals on the Top 100 list include the CEO of Geisinger Health System, and the president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which leads and funds research on making communities healthier.

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