Good Afternoon, ProviderNation.
Looks like AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson has made it to the big time.
For the first time, AHCA’s fearless leader has made it to Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015 Healthcare list. (Although this annual award is in its 14th year, it is the first year that Parkinson’s name was submitted.)
Every year, Modern Healthcare magazine selects 300 individuals from among thousands of submissions as nominees for this renowned list. The final list of 100 names is compiled based on voting by readers and featured in a special edition of the magazine.
Parkinson came in at No. 89. He joins such luminaries as Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (No. 1, primarily for his written opinion in King v. Burwell) and President Obama (No. 2, for his signature Affordable Care Act).
In the top 10 are several major health system leaders (Bernard Tyson from Kaiser Permanente sits at No. 3, and Stephen Hemsley at UnitedHealth Group holds No. 5). Prominent physician and book author Dr. Atul Gawande from Harvard University perches on No. 10. His most recent book, “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” challenges people, particularly doctors, to reexamine how we think about death and dying. (Provider did contact Dr. Gawande to participate in our most recent Twitter chat on hospice and dying well, but the busy doctor understandably had other time commitments.)
Also on the esteemed list are HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell (No. 6) and Acting Administrator for CMS Andy Slavitt (No. 20). Parkinson bested AMA head honcho Dr. James Madara (No. 90) and Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Ostroff, who rounded out the last slot at No. 100.
A Web search finds the number 89 to be rather auspicious. Football jersey number 89 was retired by three NFL players—Gino Marchetti of the Baltimore (now Indianapolis) Colts, Bob Dee of the Boston (now New England) Patriots…way before Deflategate, and Mike Ditka of the Chicago Bears.
In mathematics, 89 is a number that is part of the Golden spiral, a shape that commonly appears in nature, such as an unfurling fern or a nautilus shell. Most importantly, it is a prime number, just like the folks on this list.
Jackie Oberst is Provider’s managing editor. Email her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter, @ProviderMag.