Tag Archives: hysterectomy

Does UnitedHealthcare’s prior-approval rule mean more ‘mother-may-I’ medicine is coming?

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: U.S. Pacific Fleet via Flickr

Photo: U.S. Pacific Fleet via Flickr

The nation’s largest health insurer will require physicians and hospitals to request prior approval before doing most hysterectomies, a move that may indicate a trend toward more pre-authorization for tests and procedures.

In a statement posted on its website, UnitedHealthcare cited evidence from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) that shows better patient outcomes and fewer complications from vaginal hysterectomies than with laparoscopic or abdominal hysterectomies. The requirement for prior approval will be effective April 6. Patients undergoing outpatient vaginal hysterectomies do not need prior authorization, UHC said. Continue reading

Adjusted risk pool has some rethinking cervical cancer rates

Brenda Goodman

About Brenda Goodman

Brenda Goodman (@GoodmanBrenda), an Atlanta-based freelancer, is AHCJ’s topic leader on medical studies, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on medical study resources and tip sheets at brenda@healthjournalism.org.

What if experts wanted to figure out the rate of tonsil cancer, but forgot to exclude all the people who’d had their tonsils removed?

Those people are no longer at risk for tonsil cancer, and since there are more than half a million tonsillectomies performed each year in the U.S., counting them in the risk pool would dramatically dilute the true rate of the disease.

That’s what seems to have happened with cervical cancer, according to a thought-provoking new study published in the journal Cancer.

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