Looking back on a year you'll never forget
Why this was a year to remember
Was that a year or what? After a century of struggle, the U.S. finally approves a comprehensive reform of the healthcare system. Backers of the plan say it offers hope that nearly all Americans will obtain access to insurance coverage. But the story is far from over. Republican opponents launch a nationwide campaign to repeal or strike down the reform law in the federal courts, especially its mandate that all citizens be required to carry insurance coverage.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the law, the industry gears up to comply and benefit from it. Seminars on the law and particularly the accountable care organizations envisioned by it are more numerous than Starbucks outlets.
Meanwhile, back at the beleaguered economy, which is suffering the worst downturn since the Great Depression, hospitals manage to pull through better than most businesses. American Hospital Association statistics show hospitals emerged from recession-battered 2009 posting $34 billion in profits for a solid 5% margin.
And the excitement runs right through to the end of the year as Community Health Systems makes a $7.3 billion bid for Tenet Healthcare Corp., which Tenet rejects as inadequate.
If you were wondering last New Year’s Eve how 2010 could possibly top 2009, you have your answer. We can’t know if 2011 will prove as earthshaking, but we’re pretty sure it won’t be boring.
The recap of 2010 events on the following pages is the work of our 12 reporters and other editorial staffers. And beginning Dec. 27, we are offering readers a photo gallery on our website, ModernHealthcare.com, that looks back on the key news events of 2010. We hope this package and the photo gallery will rekindle memories—fond or otherwise—of an extraordinary and momentous year.