Baron Brings Nearly 30 Years of Private Practice Experience to ABIM Leadership Role
Philadelphia, PA, February 13, 2013 – The American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Board of Directors unanimously approved Dr. Richard J. Baron as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective June 2013. Dr. Baron will serve as President and CEO of both ABIM and the ABIM Foundation, succeeding Christine K. Cassel, MD, who will be stepping down in June.
For almost 30 years, Dr. Baron practiced general internal medicine and geriatrics, first in rural Tennessee with the National Health Service Corps from 1981–1984, then in the general internal medicine division of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, establishing a community-based satellite practice for the College. In 1989, Dr. Baron founded Greenhouse Internists and developed it to a seven-physician practice serving more than 10,000 patients in Philadelphia. Under Dr. Baron's leadership, Greenhouse was a pioneer in the comprehensive adoption of electronic health records and was among the first practices recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home.
Board certified in internal medicine and in geriatric medicine, Dr. Baron completed Maintenance of Certification for both certifications, first in 1998 and again in 2008. Dr. Baron served as Chair of the ABIM Board of Directors in 2008 and as Treasurer of the Board in 2007. He currently serves as a Trustee for the ABIM Foundation.
From 1988-1996, Dr. Baron served as Chief Medical Officer of Health Partners, a not-for-profit Medicaid HMO. He was the architect of the Best Clinical and Administrative Practices program, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for Health Care Strategies, working with medical leadership of Medicaid health plans around the country in learning collaboratives to improve the quality of care for their members. The program reached plans serving more than half of the Medicaid managed care population in the U.S.
“Rich Baron's unique career path and extraordinary skills position him to be a superb leader of ABIM and the ABIM Foundation. As a practicing physician for more than two decades, Rich knows what life is like ‘in the trenches’ and what the Board needs to do to ensure that our Certification and Maintenance of Certification programs are relevant and worthwhile to both clinicians and patients,” said Robert M. Wachter, MD, Professor and Associate Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and Chair of the ABIM Board of Directors. “Not only did he lead a cutting-edge clinical practice—adopting EMRs and being recognized as a ‘medical home’ well before most U.S. practices—he also has an amazing ability to shape health care policy. He sees the big picture, but never forgets that the patient comes first. His vision and passion will build upon the great legacy of Christine Cassel,” added Wachter.
Dr. Baron currently serves as the Group Director, Seamless Care Models, at the Innovation Center at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). His portfolio includes innovative ACO models and models of high value, comprehensive primary care. He will step down from the CMS post in April 2013.
“Rich's recent experience in the policy arena will serve ABIM and the ABIM Foundation well. He understands that the world of physician assessment is evolving, and that our credential needs to be meaningful not only to physicians in practice, but for consumers, payers and others who care about quality health care,” added Dr. Christine K. Cassel, President and CEO of ABIM and ABIM Foundation. Dr. Cassel will become the CEO of the National Quality Forum (NQF) in July.
Dr. Baron was a member of the NCQA Standards Committee from 2005-2011 and a director of NQF from 2009-2011. Dr. Baron was awarded the Pennsylvania Laureate Award and was named a Master of the American College of Physicians in 2010. He was named “Practitioner of the Year” by the Philadelphia County Medical Society in 2010.
“Over the last 10 years, Christine Cassel has been incredibly successful in efforts to get the health care community to recognize the value and importance of ABIM certification,” said Dr. Baron. “I look forward to building on her many achievements and working with the ABIM Board of Directors and all the specialties of internal medicine to make the credential meaningful, relevant and rewarding for the physicians who give their time and money to certify and maintain their certification with ABIM. I also look forward to working with the broader health care community—including consumers, purchasers and payers—to build on efforts to recognize physicians who showcase their knowledge, skills and judgment through ABIM Certification.”
As Chair of the ABIM Board of Directors, in 2008, Dr. Baron met with each of the 19 ABIM Subspecialty Boards to highlight the need for each specialty to tailor assessments to its unique competencies. As a Trustee of the ABIM Foundation, Dr. Baron helped inform the strategy of the Choosing Wisely® campaign, helping to guide the Foundation in its efforts to frame issues of health resource stewardship to practicing physicians.
Dr. Baron received a degree in English from Harvard and his medical degree from Yale. He completed his medical house staff training at NYU-Bellevue and served a three-year obligation in the National Health Service Corps in rural Tennessee.
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Internists and subspecialists who earn and maintain board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) differentiate themselves every day through their specialized knowledge and commitment to continual learning in service of their patients. Established as an independent nonprofit more than 80 years ago, ABIM continues to be driven by doctors who want to achieve higher standards for better care in a rapidly changing world. Visit ABIM's blog to learn more and follow ABIM on Facebook and Twitter. ABIM is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties.