Dr. Rick Ludwig Is the 2020 Leaders in Health Care Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Ludwig serves as interim chief executive officer at Pacific Medical Centers and as medical director of the U.S. Family Health Plan at Pacific Medical Centers
 
 

This article appears in print in the March 2020 issue. See more about the winners of the 2020 Leaders in Healthcare Awards here. Click here for a free subscription.

Dr. Rick Ludwig recognized the potential of value-based care long before it was a thing.

During his residency at a fee-for-service hospital more than 40 years ago, Ludwig noticed costly interventions that did little for patients. He became an early advocate of value-based care, or a form of reimbursement that rewards providers for keeping patients healthy.

He began to champion value-based care and preventive medicine while working at Pacific Medical Centers in the early 1980s. Guided by this mantra, he earned several promotions in the PacMed system and launched PacMed’s Quality Committee and Patient Care Committee, which instituted preventive screenings for many diseases long before it became standard practice.

Because of Ludwig’s advocacy, PacMed is now one of only six regional health systems across the country that has an ongoing contract with the Department of Defense through the U.S. Family Health Plan to offer care for current and former military members and their families.

Today, value-based care has become part of the national conversation in the ongoing debate over health care reform. According to a survey from industry trade organization Definitive Healthcare, the number of states and U.S. territories with value-based care programs has risen from three states in 2011 to 48 as of 2018. The survey notes that health care leaders say value-based care reduces costs, increases patient satisfaction and results in fewer medical errors and better outcomes.

Pacific Medical Centers operates nine outpatient clinics that provide primary and specialty care, and employs more than 750 — including more than 150 providers.

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