A tumultuous year for healthcare

Well, readers, this is the final issue of FierceHealthcare for 2008. I want to thank you for sticking with us as we chronicle the ups and downs in the industry--and look forward hearing from you in the coming year.

In this issue, we've done a rundown on what we see as the biggest issues to affect the industry this year, including the prize bout, Chuck Grassley vs. hospital tax exemptions, the controversy over pharma and med devicemaker gifts to doctors, California's battle with health plans over policy cancellations, the mounting fight against MRSA and hospitals' struggle to survive financially.

By the way, runners up would include the leveling out of the retail clinic industry's growth, slow but steady increases in medical tourism and the federal government's push to get electronic medical records into medical practices. Let's see where those take us next year--I think they'll be important issues to track.

In the meantime, please enjoy your holidays, however you may celebrate them. We look forward to seeing you again, rested and ready, on January 5th. - Anne