Editor's Note: This year was a particularly absurd one for the health care industry. In light of that, we've expanded on our popular "Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street" to offer our "10 Dumbest Things in Health Care This Year."
1. WellCare's Silent Treatment
When 200 government agents swarmed the health insurer's Florida headquarters this fall, investors had a few questions. The company didn't answer them, though.
Instead, WellCare issued a press release mostly touting its "uninterrupted business operations" and, when pressed, followed up with a brief message from the CEO that offered much of the same -- except in audio form. Investors responded by sending WellCare's stock down 80% to a three-year low.Enter the press, which apparently has a better way with words. After clearly doing its homework, The Wall Street Journal published a convincing story based on an anonymous source who indicated that the WellCare investigation could prove narrow in scope and the potential fines modest in size. Other media outlets pounced on this new certainty by publishing their own versions of the truth. Wall Street analysts, rescued from the earlier information vacuum, eagerly chimed in with agreeable notes of their own. WellCare's stock, suddenly attractive again, has rallied with few interruptions ever since. Still, TheStreet.com did publish a few minor items that -- for WellCare's sake -- might have been better left unsaid. First and foremost, WellCare investors have placed their trust in CEO Todd Farha, a "proven" leader who previously helped run two health insurers that weathered