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William L. Rich, III, M.D., FACS


William Rich is currently the Medical Director of Health Policy for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the oldest American medical specialty society.  Prior to this Dr. Rich served as the Secretary for Federal Affairs for the Academy.  He has had a twenty-five year involvement in health policy, health care financing, physician payment and quality

metrics in addition to consulting with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 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 RWJ 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 and the nation’s largest national subspecialty PPO.


In April of 2009 Dr. Rich completed a six-year term as Chair of the AMA RBRVS (RUC) Committee 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 jus 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) and served on the PEW Foundation work group “Future Directions for Medical Device Registries”


Past civic responsibilities include Chairman of the United Way, the Board of Governors of Georgetown University, president of the Hoya Hoop Club, past president of the Fairfax County Medical Society and past Executive Committeeman of the Northern Virginia Health Systems Agency.  American Academy of Ophthalmology activities include physician workforce studies in the 1970s, the initial founding chair of the Practice Management Division, lecturer in health policy, quality measurement, and registry implementation at the annual meeting, and currently a member of the Committee of Secretaries and in 2015 will serve on the AAO Board of Trustees as President Elect.


Dr. Rich has delivered numerous named lectureships dealing with health policy and continues to lecture on a regular basis at national and regional meetings. He has received the Honor and Senior Honor award from the AAO, the Presidents Award from the American Glaucoma Society, the Special Recognition Award from the American Society of Retinal Specialists, the Annual Honored Lecture Award from Women in Ophthalmology and the Founders Award from Georgetown University School of Medicine.


Dr. Rich is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University College of Arts and Sciences and its medical school.  He then served a rotating internship at San Francisco General Hospital and completed a residency in ophthalmology at Georgetown where he is on the clinical faculty.  He resides in Washington D.C and Solomons Island, Maryland. His interest includes bicycling, sailing, hiking, and literature. 




M.D.— Georgetown University School of Medicine (honors)


Ophthalmology Residency— Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC


Board certified American Board of Ophthalmology



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