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HPH Weekly: Who pays for palliative care and why we need to change that

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Written by
Jo Zhou
April 4, 2024
Read Time
3 min

This edition of Harvard Public Health Weekly was sent to our subscribers on April 4, 2024. If you don’t already receive the newsletter, subscribe here. To see more past newsletters, visit our archives.

Who pays for palliative care and why we need to change that

Digital illustration: Two hands reach across a blue and white-sky void, trying to touch. In the center is a hollowed circle with a night sky.
Illustration: Benjamin S. Wallace / Source images: Unsplash

Often misunderstood as exclusively end-of-life care, palliative care is a “constellation of services” centered around a patient’s needs, writes Meredith Lidard Kleeman. Awareness and acceptance of the care option is growing, and California and Hawaii’s moves to include palliative care in Medicaid plans are helping to shape a new model for coverage and care.

Talking about suicide saves kids’ lives

Book cover for “Life under pressure: The social roots of youth suicide and what to do about them” by Anna S. Mueller and Seth Arbrutyn; White text on an image of golden tree leaves, looking up. The cover is on a light green speckled background.
Courtesy of Oxford University Press

In a new book called Life Under Pressure, Anna S. Mueller and Seth Abrutyn examine the social factors that shape teen suicide clusters. Their research took them deep into the well-resourced, idyllic community of “Poplar Grove,” where they uncovered some hard truths behind an alarming number of teen suicides. The authors also highlight the value of difficult discussions about suicide in this era of teen mental health crisis. “Bringing suicide out of the silence is the safer choice,” they write.

As AI-based eye exams prove their worth, lessons for future tech emerge

Digital illustration: Diabetic retinopathy, ophthalmoscopic diagnosis image. Yellow, data-like dots radiate around it.
Illustration: Mary Delaware / Source images: iStock

A new AI algorithm that performs eye exams is quick to administer, patient-friendly, and FDA approved—and it could serve as an important bridge to care. AI-based eye exams are one of the first applications of AI-enabled diagnostics in a clinical setting, and health advocates are hoping it can expand screening and care for diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in the United States.

Snapshot: The mental health impacts of climate change

Nearly 40 countries across Oceania, the Pacific Islands, and parts of continental Asia experience more intense and more frequent climate change events than the rest of the globe. Katerina Vafeiadou, a researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London, spoke to Harvard Public Health about the review of other studies her research team conducted on the mental health impact of these events.

What we’re reading this week

More women are drinking themselves sick. The Biden administration is concerned.
KFF Health News

California’s Latino communities are most at risk from exposure to brain-damaging weed killer
Inside Climate News

The race to reinvent CPR
The New York Times Magazine

Investigating mental health care in the Veterans Affairs system

As heat becomes a national threat, who will be protected?

Filed Under
Jo Zhou
Jo Zhou is the social media manager and audience engagement specialist at Harvard Public Health. Read more from Jo Zhou.