Richard Isaacs MD

Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS, named among ‘50 Most Influential Clinical Executives’ of 2022 by Modern Healthcare


Co-CEO of The Permanente Federation honored for the third straight year for advancing innovation in care delivery

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 recognized by Modern Healthcare among this year’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives.

The award marks the third consecutive year and the fourth time overall that Dr. Isaacs has been named to the prestigious list. 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.

Specifically, Dr. Isaacs was recognized for cultivating an environment that advances health care delivery to meet the changing needs and expectations of patients. This approach helped his medical groups quickly adapt to the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic by using telehealth and other digital services.

“This has been another year of extraordinary achievements by our Permanente physicians and staff as we worked across departments, teams, medical centers, and geographies to reimagine and redesign care delivery during challenging times,” said Dr. Isaacs, who was named to Modern Healthcare’s list of the 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives in 2020 and 2021, and to a similar list in 2018. “This honor also is a tribute to Permanente Medicine, a philosophy of care that’s committed to delivering outstanding care to patients, enabled by technology, and based on the best evidence and research.”

The Permanente Medical Group and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group are 2 of the most distinguished medical groups in the country, with more than 11,000 physicians and 42,000 staff caring for more than 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 8 Permanente Medical Groups, which care for 12.6 million Kaiser Permanente members in 8 regions across the country.

Related news: Richard S. Isaacs, MD, named to Modern Healthcare’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ for 2021

Dr. Isaacs’ commitment to integrating the most sophisticated tools, systems, and technology available enabled physicians and staff to transform the practice of medicine during the early stages of the pandemic, with the rapid shift to video visits, creation of an innovative COVID Home Care program, and implementation of large-scale, equitable vaccination efforts that have led to the vaccination of the majority of Kaiser Permanente members. The Permanente Medical Group also launched a program offering hospital-level advanced care at home to patients, and Kaiser Permanente led a national leadership coalition with Mayo Clinic and other health systems to build the national model for acute care at home.

The Permanente Medical Group has continued to build on its successful response to COVID-19 by pioneering more initiatives that have enhanced the quality, accessibility, and convenience of care for more than 4.5 million Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California. For example:

  • Get Care Now, a new and easy-to-navigate online tool that allows Kaiser Permanente members to select their health concern from a list of common symptoms and conditions, and then use a digital shortcut to quickly determine the most convenient way to address their care needs. Patients can access the tool from anywhere, and often do not need to wait for an appointment, phone call or email to receive the care they need.
  • E-visits that give patients the ability to get treatment for certain conditions, including urinary tract infection, cough, cold, flu and conjunctivitis, with a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a smartphone. Patients completed 6.2 million E-visits in 2021, compared to a total of 1.8 million in 2020. Additional E-visits are in production and will go live on a rolling basis in the coming year.
  • Analytics tools that continue to shape the medical group’s ongoing COVID-19 strategy, support its operations and ensure the best care for our entire population. The Permanente Medical Group’s capability to leverage data across the spectrum of care has informed everything from risk-stratifying COVID-positive patients for follow-up treatment and understanding COVID-19 mortality risk for patients undergoing surgery, to predicting future geographic hotspots in the medical group’s region weeks in advance and supporting medical centers with staffing and supplies. The medical group was able to develop and implement these tools quickly because it already had a robust data analytics infrastructure and the expertise in place well before the COVID-19 crisis arrived.

Modern Healthcare editors noted that the health care industry continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including caregiver burnout, staff shortages and financial challenges. “But even during the worst of the crisis,” they wrote, “clinical leaders found ways to adapt, innovate, and focus on the true bottom line: the patient.”

Modern Healthcare honorees are profiled in the June 20 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine (digital subscription required).

Related news: Richard Isaacs, MD, writes on Medscape about health care advances during COVID-19

About 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 12.6 million Kaiser Permanente members. We work collaboratively, enabled by state-of-the-art facilities and technology, to provide world-class preventive and complex care centered in eight states — from Hawaii to Maryland — and the District of Columbia.

About The Permanente Federation

The Permanente Federation LLC is the national leadership and consulting organization for the 8 Permanente Medical Groups, which, together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, comprise Kaiser Permanente. The Federation works on behalf of the Permanente Medical Groups 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 Permanente Medical Groups to expand the reach of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care delivery model and to lead the nation in transforming health care delivery.