A class action lawsuit was filed against UnitedHealth Group and a subsidiary for allegedly using an algorithm to deny rehabilitation coverage for seriously ill patients; US and China officials are finalizing an agreement to crack down on fentanyl; a study published Tuesday projected global heat deaths to increase by 370% if no action is taken against global warming.
A class action lawsuit was filed on Tuesday against UnitedHealth Group and a subsidiary, alleging they used an algorithm to illegally deny rehabilitation coverage for seriously ill patients, according to STAT. California-based Clarkson Law Firm filed the lawsuit on behalf of deceased patients with a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan and their families. The lawsuit accuses UnitedHealth and NaviHealth, its subsidiary, of using a computer algorithm to “systemically deny claims” of Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes struggling to recover from debilitating illnesses. This comes after a STAT investigation, which was cited in the lawsuit, found that UnitedHealth pressures employees to follow an algorithm that predicts a patient’s length of stay to issue payment denials to those with Medicare Advantage plans.
US and China officials are finalizing an agreement to crack down on exports of the source chemicals of fentanyl, according to CNN. Although the deal will not be finalized until the announcement is made, CNN’s sources noted that the agreement will target companies that produce and export the chemicals, the goal being to significantly limit their flow to Mexico. The deal is expected to be finalized and announced today in conjunction with President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s summit meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area, which marks the latter’s first visit to the United States since 2017.
A study published Tuesday projected that global heat deaths will increase by 370% if no action is taken against global warming, according to NBC News. Beginning in 2015, the annual study titled the Lancet Countdown consults 114 scientists and health practitioners worldwide to monitor how climate change impacts health and, conversely, how climate action impacts global warming. This year, they found that human-caused climate change has made health-threatening temperatures more frequent, especially in the United States. As a result, heat-related deaths for US adults aged 65 and older increased by 88% between 2018 and 2022 compared with between 2000 and 2004.