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What We’re Reading: Prior Authorization Gold Carding; Climate Change Dangers; Youth Mental Health Challenges

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Overcoming insurance hurdles for critical medications; rising heat and wildfires reverse decades of clean air progress; conflicts between parents and schools arise as teens seek mental health support

Battling Insurance Hurdles: Prior Authorization

Patients seeking critical medications who have faced insurance coverage denials due to the prior authorization process may benefit from several pending bills backed by the AMA, according to Kaiser Health News. The pending bills include several policies for quicker response times, public reporting of insurer’s prior authorization determinations, and programs to reduce volume of requests. These policies are sometimes called “gold carding,” and have been passed in some form in 5 states, with the AMA currently tracking active gold carding bills in 13 states. 

Climate Change Reverses Decades of Clean Air Progress in the US

A new study by the climate analytics firm First Street Foundation warned that blistering heat waves and more frequent wildfires are causing a reversal in clean air gains achieved over past decades in the US, according to The Hill. By midcentury, air quality levels are projected to return to levels not seen since 2004, as microscopic soot particles and ozone molecules surge, posing significant health risks to Americans. The study highlights the urgent need for robust climate action and emphasizes the challenges in regulating climate compared with industrial emissions.

Navigating Consent: Challenges in Youth Mental Health Treatment

As schools grapple with a youth mental health crisis, conflicts between parents and schools over treatment consent are emerging, according to The Associated Press. Differing perspectives on mental health, coupled with legal and financial barriers, pose challenges for teens seeking therapy. The issue has become politicized, with some states streamlining access while others propose restrictions, leaving young people to navigate complex paths to mental health support.

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