Year in Review: Top 10 stories of 2020 | Spending bill hangs in balance | Happy holidays

Dear AuntMinnie Member,

Well, what a year. As 2020 draws to a close, it's clear that the COVID-19 pandemic was the dominant story, not just in radiology but throughout the world. The novel coronavirus exacted a heavy toll, especially on the most vulnerable, and it forced dramatic changes in our lives as we worked to mitigate its spread.

In radiology, articles related to COVID-19 occupied six positions in our annual top 10 list of news stories for the year, based on reader views. Our coverage of the pandemic ranged from stories about clinical research for detecting early signs of the disease to unexpected developments, such as when a patient sustained facial burns while wearing a face mask during an MRI scan.

As we do every year, we've compiled the year's top stories into a top 10 list. Thanks to all of our readers for showing your interest in our coverage.

Spending bill hangs in the balance

In a fitting end to 2020, the year is ending in confusion after President Donald Trump expressed reservations about a massive federal spending bill that includes provisions that would stave off reimbursement cuts for radiology and radiation oncology.

The provisions are included in omnibus legislation that covers the waterfront, from funding government operations to mandating $600 stimulus payments to individuals. Of interest to radiology are provisions that would mitigate the impact of looming cuts in Medicare reimbursement, while radiation oncology providers are interested in the bill's postponement of a controversial revision to how radiation therapy procedures are paid for.

But in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday night, Trump said he was unhappy with the size of the $600 payments, as well as other elements of the bill. That immediately cast the fate of the entire package into doubt, as Democrats on Wednesday sprang to propose a higher stimulus payment than Republicans have said they would agree to.

The situation was still unresolved as we prepared this newsletter, casting a cloud over radiology as things begin to wind down for the holiday. While AuntMinnie.com will be on an abbreviated publishing schedule through the new year, rest assured that we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.

Happy holidays from all of us

Finally, we'd like to sign off for the year by thanking our readers and our sponsors for your support over what has been one of the most unusual and challenging years any of us has experienced. While the disruption caused by COVID-19 was significant, it has been encouraging to see our discipline rise to the occasion and provide crucial support to our clinical colleagues as we all battle this insidious virus.

Thank you for all you do, and here's to a better 2021!

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