ldi timeline 1967-2017

Half Century of Health Policy Leadership


LBJ Enacts Medicare and Medicaid

President Lyndon Johnson enacts Medicare and Medicaid. The laws, drafted in part by William Kissick, provide unprecedented health coverage for elderly and low-income Americans.

LDI is Established

LDI is established at Wharton with the support of Leonard Davis, an innovator in private health insurance, and his wife Sophie. 

Health Care Management MBA

LDI drives the creation of a Health Care Management MBA at The Wharton School, a prototypical degree in advanced business management for health care industry professionals.

National Health Insurance Issue

Rising to the top of the political agenda, National Health Insurance is the focus of a national conference hosted by LDI and a two-part article in the New England Journal of Medicine by Robert Eilers.

Health Maintenance Organizations

Congress enacts and President Nixon signs the Health Maintenance Organization Act, based largely on the academic work of Robert Eilers.

RWJF Clinical Scholars Program

Penn becomes an early site of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, the first of its kind to provide post-residency training in health services research and policy.

LDI Becomes National Center

LDI establishes The National Health Care Management Center, the first federally funded research center devoted to the management and organization of health care.

Div. of General Internal Medicine

Arnold “Bud” Relman establishes Penn’s Division of General Internal Medicine, naming John Eisenberg as its founding chief.

Organizing AcademyHealth

LDI hosts a meeting of the country’s leading health services researchers and policymakers, who elect to form a professional organization called the Association for Health Services Research, now known as AcademyHealth.

Wharton's PhD Program Launched

Under Mark Pauly's leadership, Wharton establishes the first PhD program dedicated to health care systems research, which continues today as a PhD in Health Care Management and Economics. 

Philadelphia's AIDS Crisis

In response to Philadelphia’s growing AIDS crisis, LDI houses the newly created Philadelphia Commission on AIDS, led by Mark Smith.

Health Outcomes Research Center

Linda Aiken establishes Penn’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, now an international leader in health workforce and outcomes studies and advanced training for nurse health services researchers. 

Kissick's 'Iron Triangle'

William Kissick publishes his landmark “Iron Triangle” theorem of the three competing elements that define the health care system: access, quality, and cost containment.

Pivotal AHRQ Changes

John Eisenberg becomes director of the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, providing pivotal leadership as it transitioned to the present Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), earning the nickname "John of AHRQ."

Disparities Research and Action

LDI research on health disparities draws the attention of national agencies including the VA and the Institute of Medicine. LDI launches its Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) pipeline program. 

First National Health IT Czar

David Brailer is appointed the first national health IT czar, and promotes widespread adoption of electronic health records. 

National Behavioral Research Center

LDI founds the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (LDI CHIBE), one of only two NIH-funded centers dedicated to behavioral economic research in health. 

Affordable Care Act Draft

The Affordable Care Act is enacted to greatly expand health insurance coverage and to reform health care delivery towards value. Ezekiel Emanuel, an architect of the law, joins Penn the next year.

Health Care Innovation Center

LDI collaborates in establishing the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, developing and testing new health care delivery strategies for better outcomes and value

ACA Insurance Conference

Six months before the launch of Healthcare.gov, LDI holds the first annual National Health Insurance Marketplace Conference, a new forum for academics, government officials, and insurance professionals from across the country to understand and improve the marketplaces.

LDI Alumni Firsts

LDI alumni break new ground, as Katrina Armstrong becomes Massachusetts General Hospital’s first female physician-in-chief and Patrick Conway is named the first director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

LDI 50th Anniversary

LDI marks its 50th Anniversary and convenes alumni, policymakers, and industry leaders throughout the year to shape the future of health care.