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Social Security Administrator Robert Ball said that the medicare program started "very smoothly" with no indication of hospital over-crowding.He also announced that the first official medicare patient was Mrs. Lillian Grace Avery, 68, of Naperville, Ill.Ball said a telephone survey of reservations in 100 hospitals through July 5 showed that reservations "are running at normal rates." He said only ten of 100 hospitals surveyed are at full capacity, and "none attribute overcrowding to new medicare admittance."He said waiting lists for patients in July "either do not exist or are about the same as last year."Ball said spot checks will continue, "but at the moment there is just no general crowding attributable to the start of medicare."Ball said there were 160,000 patients in hospitals who will have bills paid under the new medicare program. Many of those patients were admitted previously. Although Ball had
WASHINGTON NEWS. JAMA. 1966;197(3):13-15. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110030011003