Palliative care is for anyone living with a serious illness.
The merry-go-round of diagnosis, illness, grief, suffering and loss that make up serious disease require a skilled clinician with a steady hand to slow down the blur. Palliative care teams do just that: provide clarity when the world is spinning.
– Dr. Kai Romero, Chief Medical Officer, Hospice by the Bay
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative Care is specialized healthcare focused on the relief of symptoms and stress for people living with a serious, life-limiting illness.
Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and people may start or continue curative treatments-such as radiation, blood transfusions, or chemotherapy — while receiving palliative care. The goal of palliative care is improving quality of life, and providing care that is in alignment with your goals and wishes.
Our team-based approach ensures collaboration with your other health care providers and assistance in navigating the health care system – all while giving you the option of receiving care in your home, rather than going into the clinic or hospital.
Our team of physicians, nurses, social workers and spiritual support counselors, will work with you to develop an individualized plan for care and you will have access to our advice nurses 24/7 to support you after hours and on weekends.
Palliative Care vs. Hospice
One of the most frequently asked questions is: what is the difference between Palliative care and hospice care?
Palliative care is for anyone with a serious illness and can begin at any stage of the illness. People with advanced illnesses have specialized care and medical needs and often fall between traditional home health services and hospice care. The goal of palliative care is to treat symptoms, help navigate the health care system and provide care that is in alignment with personal wishes.
Hospice care is specialized end-of-life care that attends to people’s needs during terminal illness in order to enhance the quality of their life.
By the Bay Health — Palliative Care in the Home
Our home-based program provides help to people living with a serious illness who are not getting the care and services they need. Our specialized care team is made up of physicians, nurses, social workers and spiritual support counselors. We will provide an extra layer of support to help reduce the stress of serious illness and improve your quality of life.
Palliative Care can help you:
- Create a clear and effective plan for managing symptoms at home
- Understand your illness and what to expect in the future
- Ensure a safe and comfortable transition from hospital to home
- Make important medical decisions based on your values
- Coordinate effectively with your medical providers
- Connect to medical and social support resources
The number and frequency of visits are determined by your individualized plan of care and the team may come to your home together or separately, depending on your wishes and needs.
Making a Referral
Does my insurance cover Palliative Care?
At this time, not all health plans offer a palliative care benefit. If you or a loved one is living with a serious illness, please contact us (415) 444.9210 for a consultation and insurance coverage details. We are always happy to answer your questions about palliative care.
Who can refer a patient to Palliative Care?
Anyone (patient, family member, physician, or discharge planner) can refer an eligible patient for palliative care. Ask your doctor about whether you would benefit from this service.
Palliative Guidelines & Examples
Some examples where palliative care should be considered are:
- When pain and/or symptoms are not currently well-controlled
- After a prolonged hospital stay, and there is minimal progress toward the expected medical outcomes
- After repeated hospital admissions due to a chronic serious illness
- When the current treatment plan is inconsistent with your goals