Bernard Tyson, Kaiser Permanente’s President and CEO, is the second most influential leader in healthcare by Modern Healthcare magazine and the highest-ranking figure from the private sector. US President Barack Obama ranked first.
Modern Healthcare magazine, which recently released its annual list of 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, noted that Tyson is the highest-ranking newcomer in the list. Kaiser Permanente CEO’s vision of turning the sickness industry upside down and shifting the healthcare industry’s focus to helping Americans live healthier lives is one of his winning points to be on top of the list.
Influential Leaders Blazed Bold Platform Reforms
The leaders included on the list of 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare share a common trait – all of them are known to be trailblazers in healthcare platforms experienced by the industry today. President Barack Obama fought for the Affordable Care Act famously known as Obamacare. This law has dramatically reshaped the US healthcare industry and from where most industry leaders jump off from with their reforms.
Dr. Robert Wachter, No. 83, chief of hospital medicine at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, noted that the Affordable Care Act has created a pressure for innovation. A known patient-safety advocate, he notes that he has been noticing much more payer-physician coordination and it’s in an environment that is much less combative and much more collaborative.
Kevin Lofton, CEO of Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives and No. 11 on the list, has seen the trend firsthand as his 93-hospital system moves aggressively into the Medicare Advantage and commercial insurance business. He sees the competition will improve care because patients will now receive more options.
While the Affordable Care Act is still resisted by most Republican-run states, Douglas Hawthorne, CEO of 17-hospital Texas Health Resources and No. 96 on the list says, “Healthcare organizations in the state have banded together with community leadership to say we need to advocate for expanded Medicaid at the earliest opportunity.” He will continue fighting for it until he retires at the end of the year.
Tyson and the Kaiser Permanente Example
Perhaps the greatest example on how the leaders made it to the most influential list is with Kaiser Permanente’s CEO, Bernard Tyson. With only more than a year as its leader, Kaiser Permanente has seen bold reforms that have resulted in influential and global results.
Kaiser Permanente’s integrated healthcare plan has received worldwide acclaim, with most European countries openly studying how their system works so they can implement a similar one at their home base.
They have also been known to take advantage of what technology has to offer in the healthcare industry. The issue of Big Data has been met with controversy but Kaiser Permanente has shown that it can be used for the greater good of the people. Even their Medicare website is top-notch and world-class quality.
And all of these reforms have been under Tyson’s leadership. At 55 years old, he has had nearly 30 years of hospital and health plan experience with Kaiser Permanente. He has managed all major aspects of the organization, serving in roles from hospital administrator to division president, while leading Kaiser Permanente’s operations in California and in other regions. Prior to becoming CEO in July 2013, Tyson served as president and chief operating officer.
Changes in Healthcare is a Marathon, not a Sprint
All in all, because Tyson believes that, “The process of changing the American healthcare system is a marathon, not a sprint.” He sees patients own their health and be proactive in taking care of it, with the help of the healthcare industry and technology. This is the future he sees and the future he wants to develop, starting with Kaiser Permanente.