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California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. Photo: Bryan Chan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is investigating Aetna after one of the company’s former medical directors said he never reviewed patients’ information himself when deciding whether to approve claims, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Patients and doctors have long been frustrated with insurers' determinations about what's covered and what's medically necessary. Jones' investigation is centered on questions about how just how reliable insurers' processes really are.

The details: The Aetna doctor, Jay Ken Iinuma, said in a 2016 deposition that he relied on recommendations from nurses,

  • "This is something that all of us have long suspected, but to actually have an Aetna medical director admit he hasn't even looked at medical records, that's not good," Andrew Murphy, a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, told CNN.

The other side: In response to CNN’s questions, Aetna defended both its handling of the individual case for which Iinuma was deposed and its broader practices.

  • "Medical directors — and all of our clinicians — take their duties and responsibilities as medical professionals incredibly seriously,” the company said. “Similar to most other clinical environments, our medical directors work collaboratively with our nurses who are involved in these cases and factor in their input as part of the decision-making process."

Go deeper

3 hours ago - World

Report: U.S. calls for UN-led Afghan peace talks

Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, D.C., in February. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a letter outlining a plan to accelerate peace talks with the Taliban that the U.S. is "considering" a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Afghan outlet TOLOnews first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: In the letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, also obtained by Western news outlets, Blinken expresses concern that the Taliban "could make rapid territorial gain" after an American military withdrawal, even with the continuation of U.S. financial aid, as he urges him to embrace his proposal.

Harry and Meghan accuse British royal family of racism

Photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered a devastating indictment of the U.K. royal family in their conversation with Oprah Winfrey: Both said unnamed relatives had expressed concern about what the skin tone of their baby would be. And they accused "the firm" of character assassination and "perpetuating falsehoods."

Why it matters: An institution that thrives on myth now faces harsh reality. The explosive two-hour interview gave an unprecedented, unsparing window into the monarchy: Harry said his father and brother "are trapped," and Markle revealed that the the misery of being a working royal drove her to thoughts of suicide.

Updated 7 hours ago - Axios Twin Cities

In photos: Thousands rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Demonstrators on March 7 outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd, will begin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of protesters marched through Minneapolis' streets Sunday, urging justice for George Floyd on the eve of the start of former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death, per AFP.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start Monday, with jury selection procedures.