What We’re Reading: AMA Joins Class-Action Lawsuit; Monkeypox Brain Inflammation; San Francisco HIV Cases

The American Medical Association (AMA) and 2 state medical societies joined a class-action lawsuit against Cigna for underpaying claims filed by providers; 2 cases of monkeypox have led to brain inflammation; for the first time, gay and bisexual men make up less than half of new HIV cases in San Francisco.

AMA Joins Lawsuit Against Cigna

The American Medical Association (AMA) has joined a lawsuit against Cigna that alleges that the insurer underpaid for claims filed by providers in the MultiPlan network. Cigna reimbursed claims from providers in MultiPlan’s network at a nonparticipating provider rate instead of the rate expected for a MultiPlan contract, according to the lawsuit that was initially filed in June. The lawsuit claims this underpayment put patients at risk of balance billing. Along with the AMA, the Medical Society of New Jersey and the Washington State Medical Association also joined the lawsuit. AMA President Jack Resneck Jr said in a statement that the AMA “hopes to shed light on Cigna’s misconduct and create remedies so that patients and physicians can look forward to getting what they are promised.”

Brain Inflammation Found in 2 Monkeypox Cases

Brain inflammation was found in 2 otherwise healthy men in their 30s when they contracted monkeypox. Both men developed skin lesions that spread to the spinal cord and left both of them feeling numbness, weakness, or limpness in their legs. The skin lesions healed in 3 to 5 weeks, but the patient from Colorado needed assistance walking after a month and the patient from Washington, DC, was discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation unit. Doctors are unsure if these adverse events were caused by the virus or by an autoimmune response to the virus.

Gay and Bisexual Men Make Up Less Than Half of New HIV Cases in San Francisco

Less than half of new HIV cases in San Francisco in 2021 were in gay and bisexual men who don’t inject drugs, marking a first for the city. However, there was an increase in HIV cases overall, which could be due to changes in testing after the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual report found that there was a 16% increase in HIV cases from 2020 to 2021, which stalled the downward trend of new cases started in 2012. Gay and bisexual men who did not inject drugs accounted for 49% of the new cases of HIV in 2021, whereas the separate category of men who have sex with men and inject drugs made up 14% of the new cases.