June has ended and brought with it the close of quarter two. The Activate Health team pulled together the top healthcare industry stories from the month to help the busy marketing and communications professional stay up to date on the latest trends and news. Read on for COVID-19 updates, details on mergers and acquisitions including Oracle and Cerner’s next steps, regulatory news including patient privacy guidance from HHS post-Roe v. Wade, and research news.


Moderna, Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for youngest kids OK’D
The FDA granted emergency use authorization of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens ages 6 months to 17 years, clearing the way for vaccinations to start.

White House shifts money from testing, PPE to buy vaccines in the fall
As a congressional aid package remains in limbo, The White House is shifting money from other areas to ensure that it can get enough supplies of COVID-19 vaccine for the fall.



Oracle closes $28B Cerner deal as exec talks next steps
The newly combined companies will focus on interoperability, innovation and user-centered design aiming to provide secure and reliable EHR solutions that deliver health insights and experiences to dramatically change how health is managed.



HHS issues guidance on patient privacy in wake of SCOTUS abortion ruling
HHS clarified that providers are not required to disclose private medical information, including information relating to abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care, to third parties including law enforcement as the information does not qualify as a serious or imminent threat to health and safety, the agency said.

$1.1 Million in Price Transparency Fines to 2 Hospitals
Over a year after receiving notice of violation, Northside Hospital Atlanta and Northside Hospital Cherokee were the first two hospitals fined by CMS for failure to comply with the Price Transparency rule; they are expected to appeal.

Supreme Court overturns 340B pay cut to hospitals
The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously rejected massive payment cuts to hospitals under the 340B drug discount program, which help hospitals fund services and programs for vulnerable communities and increase access to prescription drugs for low-income patients.



US suffers the most data breaches worldwide
The US is the most data-breached country globally, with more than two-thirds of e-mail account passwords compromised according to 18 years of data analyzed by cybersecurity company Surfshark.

Mark Cuban’s generic drug prices would save Medicare billions of dollars
If Medicare paid the same prices as investor Mark Cuban’s pharmacy in 2020, CMS could have saved up to $3.6 billion, or 37 percent, on generic drug costs according to a study published by Harvard. 



Oracle chairman Larry Ellison envisions national electronic health database
In addition to building a cloud based national EHR database, the combined company aims to deliver better patient outcomes, improve public health policy and lower costs.

Facebook sued after claims of patient data being secretly sent to its platform
Facebook is facing a lawsuit alleging their Meta Pixel tracking tool is redirecting patient communications and other secure information to Facebook without authorization when patients access hospital websites for healthcare providers, which experts say may violate HIPAA.