Medical Director of Health Policy and President Elect
American Academy of Ophthalmology
6231 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22044
William L. Rich III, MD, FACS, is currently the medical director of health policy for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Prior to this, Dr. Rich served as the Academy's secretary for federal affairs. He has had a 25-year involvement in health policy, health care financing, physician payment, and quality metrics in addition to consulting with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the National Health Policy Forum, the National Institute of Health Care Management, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the Institute of Medicine. He has served on RWJF panels dealing with the future of fee-for-service Medicare, economic incentives for promoting quality, and health outcomes measures as a determinant of patient choice. He has served as a founder and executive committeeman for a local IPA (independent practice association) and the nation's largest national subspecialty PPO (preferred provider organization).
In April of 2009 Dr. Rich completed a six-year term as chair of the American Medical Association's Resource-Based Relative Value Scale Update Committee (known as the RUC), which is responsible for developing the work values and practice expense inputs for all physician services in the Medicare fee schedule. Previously he chaired the Resource Subcommittee that investigated new ethnographic and quantitative approaches to physician work and served ten years as the representative of the AAO. He served a six-year term as a member of the American College of Surgeons Health Policy Committee and just completed a six-year term as chair of the Health Professions Council of the National Quality Forum, where he participated in the development of criteria for efficiency of care.
Currently Dr. Rich chairs the AAO ophthalmic clinical data registry, IRIS (Intelligent Research in Sight). He is a member of the Committee of Secretaries, chair of the IRIS Registry Executive Committee, and in 2015 serves on the AAO Board of Trustees as president-elect.