Welcome to the year 2001.
You will note that it doesn't quite match the futuristic vision presented three decades ago by Stanley Kubrick in his movie "2001: A Space Odyssey." There are no giant rotating space stations, complete with hotels, pay phones and direct shuttle service. The new, state-of-the-art international space station looks more like plumbing pipes connected by coat hangers.
Still, it is a far different world than the one healthcare administrators worked in when Kubrick was making his film. Technology is transforming the practice of medicine. The financing of healthcare has been radically altered by prospective payment and managed care. Providers are targeted by law enforcement for fraud. Physicians, once the unchallenged kings of the healthcare system, now feel so threatened that they are forming unions.
In the stories that follow, MODERN HEALTHCARE's reporters take their annual look at the upcoming year and what they expect it to bring on their various beats. We think you will find their visions of the near-term future less cosmic than Kubrick's, definitely more down-to-earth.