A whirlwind year for healthcare

Healthcare is a volatile business--if nothing else, given the extent to which legislators like to toy with the rules--but 2009 was remarkable even by those standards.

We watched the health reform process emerge. The industry saw value-based care go from concept to reality in record time. We began making huge changes to coding practices to prepare for the ICD-10 conversion and braced for the full implementation of the Recovery Audit Contractor program. Plans were set to rethink workflow from top to bottom when electronic medical records arrive. For this editor, it's been a bit like watching cars pass on a highway; there it is, and zoom, on to the next one.

In this issue, we look at some of the biggest stories of 2009, and try to put them into some type of context. As it is, we know we just brushed the surface of most, but we hope to give you some food for thought and a chance to gain perspective as we move into next year. It's a lot to digest, but well worth the effort.

Now, it's time to say goodbye until next year. Here at FierceHealthcare, we'll be taking some time off, and will begin publishing again on January 4, 2010. We hope you have a warm, wonderful, restful holiday and come back ready for the challenges you face. We're looking forward to 2010! - Anne