Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS, again named among Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives

Co-CEO of The Permanente Federation recognized for demonstrating leadership in expanding telehealth and creating innovative COVID Care at Home program

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Permanente Federation today announced that Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS, CEO and executive director of The Permanente Medical Group; president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group; and co-CEO of The Permanente Federation, was again recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of this year’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives.

Headshot of Richard Isaacs, MD
Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS

The Modern Healthcare recognition program acknowledges clinicians working in the health care industry who are selected by their peers and the senior editors of Modern Healthcare for paving the way to better health through their executive responsibility, leadership qualities, innovation, community service and achievements inside and outside of their respective organizations.

“This honor acknowledges the expertise, innovative spirit, dedication and courage of our Permanente physicians and staff who delivered on the promise of Permanente Medicine by leveraging technology to deliver care where patients most needed it during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Isaacs, who was named to Modern Healthcare’s list of the 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives in 2020 and to a previous list in 2018. “This award also underscores our commitment to delivering the right care, at the right time, in the right place.”

TPMG and MAPMG are two of the most distinguished medical groups in the country, and their 11,000 physicians and 40,000 staff care for approximately 5.3 million Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Permanente Federation is the national leadership and consulting organization for the eight Permanente Medical Groups, which care for more than 12.5 million Kaiser Permanente members in eight regions across the country.

Modern Healthcare highlighted the innovative care delivery models that Permanente physicians and staff implemented during the pandemic under Dr. Isaacs’ leadership to meet rapidly changing patient needs in the face of extreme public health, societal and financial challenges. These include:

  • The rapid shift to video visits. Dr. Isaacs’ implementation of a Video Care First strategy made virtual visits between physicians and patients the “new normal.” This strategy was especially critical in the early response to COVID-19 because video provides a face-to-face connection with the physician that patients need and appreciate, particularly during a time of significant isolation resulting from physical distancing and stay-at-home orders. By the end of 2020, TPMG physicians had conducted nearly 3.7 million video visits, while MAPMG had conducted nearly 1 million.
  • Development of comprehensive COVID-19 playbooks and plans for mitigation and suppression strategies, drive-through testing operations, elective surgeries, and more, which were shared broadly with other health systems; local, state and federal health agencies; and elected officials.
  • Creation of an innovative COVID Care at Home program in which population health teams connect with COVID-positive outpatients to provide additional levels of care and attention early during their recovery. More than 130,000 patients were followed by the COVID Care at Home team in 2020, with more than 500,000 case reviews, outreach efforts and contacts.

Modern Healthcare editors noted that clinical leadership is needed now, more than ever, to champion evidence-based approaches that will mitigate the impact of the pandemic and address the longstanding health inequities that have become even clearer as a result of the crisis.

“The 2021 class of 50 Most Influential Clinician Executives did not shy away from the challenges of caring for patient populations during a pandemic,” said Modern Healthcare editor, Aurora Aguilar. “They found inspiration in knocking down hurdles and fighting for top-quality care for their patients and staff. They improved cancer screening outcomes by incorporating in-home test kits and secured more diversity for future clinician ranks. Modern Healthcare congratulates this class and appreciates their hard work.”

The complete list of Modern Healthcare honorees and their profiles are available at ModernHealthcare.com/50MostInfluential and in the June 21 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine.

About the Permanente Medical Groups

The Permanente Medical Groups are self-governed, physician-led, prepaid, multispecialty medical groups composed of more than 23,000 physicians. We are dedicated to the mission of improving the health of our patients and communities. Together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, we are Kaiser Permanente — an award-winning health care system that delivers Permanente Medicine to more than 12.5 million Kaiser Permanente members. We work collaboratively, enabled by state-of-the-art facilities and technology, to provide preventive and world-class complex care in eight states — from Hawaii to Maryland — and the District of Columbia.

About The Permanente Federation

The Permanente Federation LLC (the Federation) is the national leadership and consulting organization for the eight Permanente Medical Groups (PMGs), which, together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, comprise Kaiser Permanente. The Federation works on behalf of the PMGs to optimize care delivery and spread Permanente Medicine — medicine that is person- and family-centered, compassionate, evidence-based, technology-enabled, culturally responsive, team-delivered and physician-led. The Federation, based in Oakland, California, fosters an open learning environment and accelerates research, innovation and performance improvements across the PMGs to expand the reach of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care delivery model and to lead the nation in transforming care delivery.