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
Palliative Care is a medical specialty whose aim is to relieve a patient’s pain, stress and other symptoms, thus improving overall quality of life. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness. Patients may start or continue curative treatments such as radiation, blood transfusions or chemotherapy, while receiving palliative care.
Our team will discuss treatment options with patients and their families, giving them the information needed to make informed decisions about their treatment choices. Care can start soon after the diagnosis of an illness that causes distressing symptoms or repeated emergency room visits, which can reduce quality of life.
By the Bay Health — Palliative Care in the Home.
We are pleased to offer a new service to provide coordinated palliative care in the home, called By the Bay Health. This innovative program will provide help to people living at home with a serious illness who are not getting the care and services they need. Our specialized Care Team will provide an extra layer of support to help reduce the stress of serious illness and improve quality of life at home, with a focus on pain and symptom management. By the Bay Health 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
Patients are assigned a Nurse Case Manager to coordinate medical care and assist with transitions across care settings. You can expect home visits by our Care Team comprised of a palliative care physician, registered nurse, spiritual care counselor and social worker, all focused on your well-being. The number and frequency of visits is determined by your individualized program and Care Team members may come to your home together or separately. This care supplements treatments provided by the patient’s primary physician.
We will work closely with your caregivers, primary care physician(s), specialists and social service agencies to help you receive the best care possible. Palliative care in the home may also provide care coordination and navigation services.
Palliative Care in a Facility
In collaboration with our hospital partners, our palliative care team offers pain and symptom management for patients and support for their families and caregivers. These services are available to patients at:
- Marin General Hospital
- Nazareth House
- Sonoma Valley Hospital
- Sonoma Acres
- Broadway Villa, Sonoma
- The Meadows, Yountville
Making a Referral
At this time, not all health plans offer a palliative care benefit. If you or a loved one is living with a serious illness, and need help managing symptoms to improve the quality of life, please confirm coverage with your insurer and then contact us at (415) 444.9210 for a consultation and insurance coverage details. We appreciate your curiosity and are always happy to answer your questions about palliative care.
Anyone (patient, family member, physician or discharge planner) can refer an eligible patient for palliative care. Ask you doctor about whether you would benefit from this service.
Some instances 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 the patient has repeated hospital admission due to a chronic illness
- When the current treatment plan is inconsistent with the patient’s goals