A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 18, 2011
“Hospitals don’t have patients; doctors have patients and hospitals have doctors”

“Hospitals don’t have patients; doctors have patients and hospitals have doctors” (or “Hospitals don’t have patients, physicians/doctors do”) was said by Dr. Paul Ellwood by at least 1975. Ellwood has been called the father of managed health care (the HMO).
Ellwood’s statement has been frequently quoted in the healthcare industry.
The Burton Report
Paul Ellwood and the Genesis of Managed Health Care
Managed health care was born in Minnesota in 1969 when pediatric neurologist, Paul M. Ellwood left the practice of medicine to initiate national health reform.  During his tenure as executive director of the American Rehabilitation Foundation and the Sister Kenny Institute in Minneapolis he recognized that the United States Government was becoming more and more involved in the planning and funding of health care as demonstrated by its introduction of “Medicare.”  He, and his associates regarded Medicare as the advent of a disturbing trend towards socialized medicine.  Because of this he intended to introduce the “health maintenance organization” (HMO) as a better alternative to a socialized system.  Elwood’s goal was to initiate a new direction in health care which would not only provide quality service to the public, but would also contain escalating health care costs by preventing disease and also maintain good health in the population.

This experiment in health care was first introduced in Minnesota as the organization “Group Health.”
Google News Archive
7 July 1975, Lakeland (FL) Ledger, “Phyisican Mostly Decide Who Pays For What” by Victor R. Fuchs, pg. 4C, col. 7:
As Dr. Paul Elwood has so well put it, hospitals don’t have patients; doctors have patients and hospitals have doctors.”
Google Books
Health Plan:
The practical solution to the soaring cost of medical care

By Alain C. Enthoven
Washington, DC: Beard Books
Pg. 23:
Paul Ellwood, MD, President of InterStudy, put it this way: “Hospitals don’t have patients. Hospitals have doctors, and doctors have patients. Therefore, hospitals compete for doctors.”
PerformanceHealth Improvement
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Hospital-Sponsored Medical Homes—Whose Patients?
While the idea of a “medical home” came from primary care physicians, initially pediatricians, it has been taken up by a number of hospitals. This creates a challenge to hospitals to revise the definition of “patient” that has limited their function in patient care. In some cases, regulatory issues may arise in the process.
When I began my career in health care decades ago, one of the first things I recall being told was that: “Hospitals don’t have patients. Doctors have patients. Hospitals have doctors.” This maxim made it clear that hospitals only gain patient admissions and visits through their medical staffs, though direct-to-consumer advertising by hospitals has certainly suggested that consumers make or influence at least some decisions regarding hospital use and selection.
Insurance News
EDITORIAL: Erlanger’s challenge
December 14, 2011
By Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
The problem of the exodus of doctors’ groups that practice chiefly at Erlanger is best reflected in the adage that hospitals don’t have patients; doctors do. When doctors shift their practice to competitor hospitals, hospitals lose patients, and money.
Tiller-Hewitt Healthcare Strategies
USA TODAY Reports on Physician Liaisons
December 15, 2011
At one of my hospital’s weekly sales meeting, the CEO (who always attended) never failed to remind the team that, “Hospitals don’t have patients, physicians do, we just take care of their patients for them.” His level of respect for the physician’s role as Captain became a core value of that sales team. It’s that kind of respectful approach that builds a strong foundation to long-term trusting and collaborative relationships.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, December 18, 2011 • Permalink

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