Cleveland Clinic Names Jeffrey Rich, M.D., to Lead Operations, Strategy for Heart & Vascular Institute

Dr. Rich formerly led the Center for Medicare Management and is a past president of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Cleveland Clinic has appointed Jeffrey Rich, M.D., as chairman of Operations and Strategy for its Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute.

In this role, Dr. Rich will lead a team from the Heart & Vascular Institute dedicated to managing and growing cardiovascular and cardiac surgery affiliation and alliance relationships across the country. Through these relationships, Cleveland Clinic provides management services including clinical direction, quality assurance, and access to the latest in cutting-edge technologies and techniques. Dr. Rich will also promote quality initiatives, work on developing innovative payment initiatives and engage in strategic growth planning for the institute.

Jeffrey Rich, M.D., chairman of Operations and Strategy, Heart & Vascular Institute

“Cleveland Clinic has an outstanding record of enhancing the quality of cardiovascular care around the country through its affiliation and alliance program,” said Dr. Rich. “I’m honored to join Cleveland Clinic’s world-class cardiovascular team and excited to look for new opportunities to further the program and to discover innovative ways to deliver high-quality healthcare to patients.”

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Rich held a variety of high-profile positions focusing on healthcare quality improvement, payment reform and transparency. He directed the Center for Medicare Management in 2008, was president of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons in 2012, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum. In addition, he held several leadership positions within the National Quality Forum, including vice chairman of the Consensus Standards Approval Committee, chair of the Council on Research and Quality Improvement and co-chair of the Planning Group on Cardiac Surgery Performance Measures. He’s testified before Congress on four occasions, discussing payment models that reward quality performance over volume. Most recently, Dr. Rich has served as a project manager for the Virginia Cardiac Services Quality Initiative, a regional collaboration focused on quality and cost containment, which he helped launch more than 20 years ago, and president of Value Based Healthcare Solutions, LLC.  He’s also worked as a consultant for the CMS Transplant Program.

“Dr. Rich brings with him a deep level of knowledge in healthcare policy as well as clinical expertise,” said Lars Svensson, M.D., chair of the Heart & Vascular Institute. “He is known nationally as someone who can not only think strategically about quality improvement, payment reform and care delivery, but build relationships and design effective programs.  We look forward to working with Dr. Rich to continue to grow and strengthen our network of alliances and affiliations.”

Dr. Rich is a cardiothoracic surgeon specializing in adults with cardiac disease, heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory assistance, and trans-catheter based procedures.  He practiced at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for more than two decades and held various positions there, including scientific director of Sentara Cardiovascular Research Institute, surgical director of the Heart Transplant Program, director of the Ventricular Assist Device Program and a member of the Cardiac Executive Committee.  Dr. Rich also acted as an assistant professor of clinical surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

He has served as principal investigator on more two dozen clinical trials and has been an invited reviewer on six academic journals including the Annals of Thoracic Surgery and the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. He is the author of more than 50 publications and three book chapters regarding quality, costs and efficiency in cardiac care. Dr. Rich earned his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and went on to serve a general surgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at Stanford University. He is currently a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, an organization for which he has served in leadership positions for more than a decade, the American Association for Thoracic Surgeons, the National Rural Health Association, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society.

Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute is one of the world’s largest, most experienced cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery groups and for the 22nd year in a row, Cleveland Clinic is the best hospital in the country for cardiology and heart surgery, earning the No. 1 ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2016-17.”  For more than a decade, Cleveland Clinic’s Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute has formed affiliations with cardiothoracic surgery and cardiovascular medicine programs in Ohio and across the country, aimed to combine the unparalleled research and expertise of Cleveland Clinic’s heart program with other cardiac leaders.  Today the Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute alliance and affiliate network extends to more than 20 hospitals and health systems across the U.S.

Dr. Rich starts July 1st. He succeeds Joseph Cacchione, M.D., who had served as chair since 2009.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 51,000 employees are more than 3,500 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 10 regional hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2016, there were 7.1 million outpatient visits, 161,674 hospital admissions and 207,610 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at

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