Thursday, October 01, 2009

Happy 40th! HCHP->Atrius

Congratulations to Atrius Health, the successor organization, on the occasion of the anniversary of the creation of Harvard Community Health Plan, forty years ago today. HCHP was the the nation's first academic health maintenance organization. It was the brainchild of some of the medical giants of Boston back in 1969, including Robert Ebert, Richard Nesson, Howard Hiatt, Mitch Rabkin, and Joe Dorsey. Starting with 88 patients on the first day, it grew to 30,000 by 1972, and then to hundreds of thousands in the years afterward.

The theory of HCHP was to provide health care at lower costs to patients by concentrating on keeping people healthy in addition to treating them when they became sick. Not a bad idea.


Gene Lindsey, MD said...

Thank you for recognizing the 40th anniversary of the creation of Harvard Community Health Plan (HCHP).

HCHP began as a medical practice that was created to actualize a visionary approach to the delivery of health care. After the HMO Act of 1976, the practice became responsible for all the costs of patient care as well the provision of the care. In 1998, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates was created to continue the original vision of providing high quality, coordinated patient care.

Harvard Vanguard, and by extension its affiliates in Atrius Health, now represents the clinical legacy of this bold journey which began 40 years ago today. Our friends at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care share this day with us and are not only the legal successor to the organization that began 40 years ago, but are also continuing this journey toward the improvement of health which started when the first patients were seen on October 1, 1969.

We want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the visionary founders of HCHP and the many people at both Harvard Vanguard and Harvard Pilgrim who carry on the great traditions that they started.

Gene Lindsey, MD
President and CEO, Atrius Health and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates

ManxMamma said...

I was more than happy to join HCHP in 1973 and remained a member for years, except for a few that I spent out of state. I loved the concept and the care I received. By contrast, when living in California in the late 70's I had a 3 month waiting period for my health insurance to kick in. One week before I was covered I was hit by a car...uninsured. That was a nightmare. I was happy to return to the fold in 1980!

Tom Bailey said...

Your blog is very helpful to people in seeing the ups and downs of a hospital reading the archives has been very enlightening.

Anonymous said...

The structure that allowed HCHP to focus on improving quality and reducing costs was integrating delivery of care with payment for care. The payment model was capitation. That's what the original HCHP was all about: create an organized and integrated system of care and give it a prepaid fixed fee in return for providing a comprehensive range of services to a defined population of people, with minimal financial barriers to care. Whether you call it global payment or's still a great idea. I loved it when I joined right out of college in 1976 and I still love it today. Nancy