While year-in-review lists are a time honored media tradition, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who didn't think 2016 was truly exceptional.
For better or worse, so much has happened in the U.S. and in the world, and the health care industry was impacted as much as any other.
From the perspective of health care business, our editorial team put our heads together to come up with the most impactful stories of the year. Here they are:
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10) Medicare pay cuts to push providers using film and CR toward DR systems
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Hospital outpatient facilities and physicians’ offices still using analog and CR X-ray equipment need to begin thinking about making the switch to DR in order to avoid Medicare reimbursement reductions starting next year.
As part of the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama, provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 contained in Section 502 are designed to speed up the transition from traditional X-ray imaging to DR.
9) GE Healthcare relocates from UK to Chicago
After over a decade operating out of the U.K., GE Healthcare announced in January its plans to relocate to Chicago, bringing it closer to its Wisconsin-based imaging company.
The announcement came just a couple of days prior to the news that parent conglomerate, General Electric, will be relocating from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts.
8) LA hospital hackers get $17,000 in ransomware heist
A cyberattack at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in February resulted in hackers receiving $17,000 in the form of 40 bitcoin, in order to resolve the issue.
The incident highlighted the rising threat – and potential effectiveness – of ransomware attacks, in which a facility is forced to pay a ransom in order to reclaim the security of its compromised patient data.
7) Google issues medical drone patent
Thanks to a patent awarded to Google in March, the tech giant may have a leg up on the competition when it comes to flying lifesaving medical equipment into remote locations on demand.
The patent describes a dispatch system, like an emergency intercom, that can call for a drone to fly in with an urgent delivery.
The device would allow users to press a button indicating the specific medical emergency or request, (cardiac arrest, neck injury, anaphylactic shock, arm splint, inhaler, etc.) and the system would deploy a drone to meet their needs at the scene. In the case of a heart attack, for instance, the system could theoretically deploy a defibrillator.