What We’re Reading: Cigna Class-Action Lawsuit; Fetal Mortality Improves in Black Women; Multistate Salmonella Outbreak


A class-action lawsuit was filed against Cigna for allegedly wrongfully rejecting thousands of claims using an algorithm; Black women still have a fetal mortality rate double the national average despite declining from that of recent years; the CDC is investigating the source of ground beef causing a multistate salmonella outbreak.

Cigna Accused of Improperly Rejecting Patient Claims Through Use of Algorithm

A class-action lawsuit was filed against Cigna on Monday due to its alleged use of the computer algorithm PXDX to automatically reject hundreds of patient claims without reviewing them individually, according to the Associated Press. The lawsuit claimed PXDX spent an average of 1.2 seconds to review each claim and identify whether it met certain requirements. An investigation conducted earlier this year revealed internal documents showing that Cigna rejected more than 300,000 payment claims within 2 months last year, leaving many patients without coverage of their tests or procedures. Cigna responded by claiming that PXDX is used to speed up payments for common, inexpensive procedures through an industry-standard review process.

Fetal Mortality Rates of Black Women Fall 4%, Still Twice as High as the National Average

New federal data show that fetal mortality rates among Black women are much higher than those of other racial/ethnic groups despite declining from rates in prior years, according to ABC News. In a report published Wednesday by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, Black women were found to be the only racial/ethnic group to see a significant change in mortality rates as they declined 4% from 10.34 per 1000 live births and fetal deaths in 2020 to 9.89 per 1000 in 2021. Despite this decline, Black women’s fetal mortality rates are still nearly double the national rate of 5.74 per 1000.

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Ground Beef Affecting Multiple States

Investigators are working to identify the source of ground beef in the salmonella outbreak that caused 16 people to get sick, 6 of whom required hospitalization, according to The Hill. The CDC issued an alert Tuesday detailing that illnesses linked to this outbreak were first reported in late April, with the most recent in mid-June. Those who remembered what they ate before getting sick said they consumed 80% lean ground beef purchased from ShopRite locations in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Of those affected, 9 live in New Jersey, 5 live in New York, and 1 each live in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The CDC warned that more individuals could be affected in these states and beyond who recovered without medical care and therefore were not tested for salmonella.

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