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Health Care Hall of Fame

Michael M. Davis
Inducted in 2002

Michael M. Davis
1879-1971
Inducted in 2002


Davis was thinking about the financing of healthcare when few others were.

Robert Sigmond, another Health Care Hall-of-Famer, once said, “Can you imagine a world without health insurance?” When Davis “got involved in the field at the turn of the (20th) century, nobody thought about the healthcare system, the financing of healthcare.” Indeed, Davis spent five decades as part of the Committee on the Costs of Medical Care, an independent group funded by major foundations at the time, where he would help produce 27 volumes of recommended changes in financing and the organization of healthcare services.

In 1913, Davis began operating pay clinics where people would pay a small fee in exchange for healthcare services. Seven years later, he joined the Rockefeller Foundation in New York where he was tasked with duplicating his work. He later advised Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman and worked on the legislation that would produce Medicare and Medicaid. A year later, he launched the Cornell pay clinic in New York. Davis, a prolific writer, penned a column for Modern Hospital magazine, the predecessor to Modern Healthcare.

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