By the Bay Health

Palliative Care

Palliative Care – often referred to as “Comfort Care” – is designed to relieve the symptoms and stress of living with a serious, life-limiting illness, thus improving quality of life. It meets the unique needs of patients who fall between skilled home health care and hospice. Since Palliative Care is not dependent on a terminal diagnosis, the patient may begin or continue curative treatments such as radiation, blood transfusions, or chemotherapy while under Palliative Care.

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

Service Areas

We offer Palliative Care in the counties of Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma; and the cities of American Canyon, Napa, Vallejo, and Yountville.

Palliative Care

ELIGIBILITY AND REFERRAL

IN GENERAL, PALLIATIVE CARE IS APPROPRIATE FOR THOSE WHO ARE COPING WITH:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • End-stage Liver Disease
  • Additional diagnoses may be coverd by individual insurance plans.
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.

visits

The number and frequency of Palliative Care visits are determined by your individualized plan of care, and your care team may come to your home together or separately, depending on your wishes and needs.
They will 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 decision based on your values
  • Coordinate effectively with your medical providers
  • Connect to medical and social support resources
  • Navigate the health care system

Our professional staff provides care to the patient and works with the patient’s family or caregivers to train them in the skills they need to follow a care plan. You will also have access to our advice nurses 24/7 after-hours and on weekends. Our palliative care team emphasizes patient satisfaction in all they do.

comfort and support

Palliative Care Team

Physician/ Nurse Practitioner

Participates in ongoing discussions with your nurse and care team about the best medical care to meet your individual needs.

registered nurse

Visits regularly to assess your general condition and provide pain and symptom management, including the use of medicines.

social worker

Provides practical and emotional support, including access to agency, community, legal, and home care resources.

Spiritual Support Counselor

Provides comfort through secular counseling, inspirational reading and prayer, and coordinating support with preferred local spiritual group.

Program Options

Depending on your specific needs and insurance coverage, we offer two types of Palliative Care.

COMPREHENSIVE PALLIATIVE CARE

This option surrounds the patient and family with an inter disciplinary team coordinated by an RN Case Manager. The team works together to support the patient’s medical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.

CONSULTATIVE PALLIATIVE CARE

This option consists of a trained Palliative Care Physician or Nurse Practitioner, who works with the patient’s Primary Care Provider through consults. They may draw on the expertise of our entire interdisciplinary Team to address complex medical conditions.

Payment

Palliative Care coverage varies according to insurance plan:

COMPREHENSIVE OPTION

  • Blue Shield
  • San Francisco Health Plan
  • Partnership Health Plan
  • Chinese Community Health Plan
  • No Medicare

CONSULTATIVE OPTION

  • Medicare Part B (not available in San Francisco)

NOTE: Home health care costs qualify as medical expenses and are tax-deductible, within certain limits, from federal income tax.