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Health Care Hall of Fame

John Devereaux Thompson
Inducted in 1995

John Devereaux Thompson
1917-1992
Inducted in 1995

In 1967, Thompson and his Yale University colleague, Robert Fetter, began developing a system for coding medical treatments, called diagnosis-related groups, or DRGs.

Some 13 years later, HHS authorized the state of New Jersey to use DRGs to test the system. Three years later, the Health Care Financing Administration, the predecessor of the CMS, started implementing the system on a widespread basis for Medicare reimbursement.

Most of Thompson’s career was spent at Yale. He graduated from Yale with a master’s degree in hospital administration in1950, and returned to his alma mater in 1956 as a professor. He stayed with the university until he retired in 1988.

During his tenure, Thompson held the titles of professor of public health and nurse administration, associate dean of the school of medicine and chief of the health services and administration division. In 1991, Thompson came out of retirement to fill a vacant post at Yale as chairman of the health policy division.

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