Three Biggest Healthcare Stories of 2017

Politics, sexual abuse and company mergers have majorly affected this year’s healthcare landscape. As we move into 2018, Forbes takes a look back at the top 3 healthcare stories splashing across headlines in 2017. Here’s a recap:

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1. Mega Deals

Who bought what where? Deals, deals, deals punctuated 2017. Take a gander at some of the biggies:

  • CVS paid $69 billion to purchase the nation’s No. 3 health insurer, Aetna.
  • UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurer, announced its second multibillion-dollar acquisition of the year in December. After buying Surgical Care Affiliates for about $2.3 billion in March, UnitedHealth recently entered into a $5 billion agreement to acquire DaVita’s primary and urgent care network.
  • Health insurer Humana is in advanced talks to acquire Kindred Healthcare, the largest home healthcare provider and hospice operator in the United States.

2. Repeal and Replace?

It’s no surprise that one of the biggest healthcare happenings this year is healthcare itself. After failed attempts this summer to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare), the current administration put reform on the back burner until its recent tax plan emerged this December with a provision to remove the financial penalty for the uninsured. Forbes notes that there was not a meaningful replacement plan to go in place of the repeal, and as of this writing, only time will tell if the financial penalty removal will make a difference. ACA official enrollment numbers showed a growing 39 percent first-time customers signed up in 2017. 

3. Silence Breakers

Forbes shares that, for 2017, the Silence Breakers were named TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for their willingness to shine a light on sexual abuse, a problem long kept hidden in the shadows. As we have noted, sexual harassment is also rampant in the healthcare industry. The healthcare and social assistance industry accounted for 11.5 percent of 85,000 charges of sexual harassment, making it the fourth largest workforce of filed sexual harassment charges. This is in large part because the sector is dominated by women and, particularly, people of color. 

What’s in store for 2018? We’ll soon find out as January is here! What kinds of things do you expect, given what happened over the past year? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.

 

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