Back again with another month of headlines and quick summaries for individuals supporting healthcare communications and marketing. Read on for a wrap-up of some of the top stories from this month, including EUA for a novel breathalyzer to detect COVID-19, more consolidation via acquisition activity, and survey data from hospitals and health systems about implementing systems to comply with price transparency rules.



Judge rules against mask mandate for public transit

A US district judge in Florida ruled against the mask mandate required on public transportation and in transportation hubs, including airports. Both the TSA and CDC reinforced recommendations for mask wearing.

FDA grants EUA to first COVID-19 breath test

A COVID-19 breathalyzer was granted emergency use authorization by the FDA. The InspectIR test is designed to detect the virus through breath and provides results in fewer than three minutes.

COVID-19 public health emergency renewed
HHS has renewed the declaration for an additional 90 days and confirmed that prior to any termination of the public health emergency, states will receive a 60-day notice.



UnitedHealth Group’s Optum to buy LHC group to expand home healthcare presence

Optum and UHG will purchase LHC Group for $5.4B in an effort to expand their presence in the home healthcare space. LHC Group provides in-home services to individuals who are chronically ill or injured.

Tivity Health to be acquired for $2B

Stone Point Capital is set to purchase and take private Tivity, a consumer health company that partners with health insurers to provide physical, social and mental enrichment programs to seniors.



KLAS: Hospitals say price transparency remains too confusing and pricey to implement

In new data compiled through a survey of hospital revenue cycle leaders by KLAS, results highlight complaints about execution, compliance challenges and resources required to post rates in machine-readable, easily-understood formats for patients.



After decades, researchers deliver first complete human genome using long-read DNA sequencers

Thirty years after the Human Genome Project kicked off, new research and data has mapped out the remaining 8% of the full DNA sequence.