Med Spa Infections and Trauma for Trans Youth; Rehab Access Blocked.


Welcome to the latest edition of Beauty Flash News, where we dive into the world of beauty and wellness with a critical eye. Join us as we uncover some of the most shocking investigative reports on the healthcare industry this week.

Med Spas and Dangerous Infections

The rise of medical spas has been meteoric in recent years, with these facilities raking in around $15 billion for services like IV therapy, skincare, and cosmetic treatments. However, not all is well in the world of med spas. Some of these unregulated establishments are cutting corners by employing unlicensed staff to administer injections of unapproved products in unsanitary conditions.

One harrowing story from the investigation involves a customer named Bea Amma, who developed sores at over a hundred injection sites after receiving treatments in 2021. Despite requesting injections of vitamins and a fat-reduction compound called deoxycholic acid, Amma ended up testing positive for Mycobacterium abscessus, leaving her with scars even after recovering from the infections.

These horror stories have caught the attention of the FDA, prompting them to issue a warning letter highlighting the dangers of unapproved fat-reducing shots and the improper mixing of products without adequate sterilization in some facilities.

While government oversight in this area is lacking, the American Med Spa Association has stepped up to provide legal and business resources to ensure the safe operation of around 4,000 med spas across the U.S. Despite these efforts, experts warn that the number of patients suffering adverse effects from services at these facilities is on the rise.

Hospitals Compound Trauma for Transgender Youth

The challenges faced by transgender youth in accessing appropriate healthcare have been laid bare in an investigation by the Associated Press. Against a backdrop of political turmoil surrounding gender-affirming care, hospitals are struggling to provide essential services to this vulnerable population during times of crisis.

The report highlights the case of North Carolina, where new restrictions on gender-affirming care have exacerbated the situation. Hospitals in the state are ill-equipped to handle pediatric mental health conditions, especially for transgender youth, leading to traumatic experiences for patients like Callum Bradford, who faced distressing circumstances during his hospitalization.

Experts emphasize the importance of validating transgender identities from the moment of care initiation to prevent worsening mental health outcomes. Failure to do so could potentially increase the risk of suicide among transgender youth, underscoring the critical need for specialized and affirming healthcare services.

UnitedHealth’s Secret Rules to Restrict Rehab Care

An in-depth review of internal documents has uncovered the existence of undisclosed rules within UnitedHealth designed to expedite denials of rehab care referrals for patients on certain health insurance plans. These rules were abruptly halted in early November following increased scrutiny from federal legislators and CMS officials.

Reports suggest that clinicians affiliated with a UnitedHealth subsidiary called NaviHealth were using these restrictive rules to deny rehab care referrals, impacting millions of patients across various insurers. While a spokesperson for NaviHealth refuted these claims, stating that the rules were intended for complex cases, the denial rates for such cases remain unknown.

Join us next time as we continue to unravel the headlines and bring you the latest investigations in the world of beauty and wellness. Stay informed, stay beautiful!

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