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.