Walter McNerney, a professor of Hospital Administration in the School of Business, directs an unprecedented study of costs, reimbursement, utilization, and hospital economics in the state of Michigan, commissioned by the governor. McNerney went on to help design the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and oversaw the merger of Blue Cross and Blue Shield in the late 1970s.
The 1,492 page report showed what data could do for health management–such as develop treatment norms for different diagnoses, the logic that came to underpin most health care payments in the United States. One result was that Blue Cross became independent of the American Hospital Association in 1961 and McNerney became president of the Blue Cross Association that year. Others in the Department of Medical Care Organization took it up and continued with the Medical Care Chart Book, published 1962-1991. Gradually, federal and state governments had begun to publish the kind of systematic data it contained.