We have a clear vision: a community where people live and die with dignity. In January 2016, we expanded our services to include a palliative care pilot with a goal of improving quality of life through care that is consistent with patient goals, desires, and specific needs.
The Palliative Care Services model builds on our Transitions program for people with a serious illness who either may not meet the Medicare eligibility or feel ready for hospice care. During the 18 month pilot we served 61 patients, established metrics to assess our care, and forged partnerships with healthcare providers. This July, we made the commitment to provide Palliative Care Services to our community, moving it from a pilot to an ongoing program of Hospice of Santa Cruz County.
What is Palliative Care Services?
When people choose our Palliative Care Services, they receive care in their home that uses a team approach. Palliative care nurses, nurse educators, social workers, and physicians provide medical care, and emotional and practical support to patients and their families. This extra layer of support is provided through regular collaboration and communication with the patient’s primary doctor and specialists. It builds on our ability to provide exceptional care to patients and families where they want it – at home.
Creating a Sustainable Model
Our home-based Palliative Care Services program is an investment in our community and in Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s future. To move the program toward sustainability, we’re identifying reimbursement sources and new payment models by working with our community’s healthcare providers. We recently established a groundbreaking partnership with BlueShield of California where qualifying health plan members in Santa Cruz County would be fully covered and eligible for our Palliative Care Services. Although this partnership is an important step toward sustainability, over 50% of patients remain unreimbursed or under-reimbursed.
Community Generosity & Challenge
Community support is a vital part of helping us move our Palliative Care Services program toward sustainability. The Bright Horizons Fund, a local family foundation, just made a transformative gift as a challenge to encourage community support. For each dollar donated to Palliative Care Services between now and June 30th, 2018, the Bright Horizons Fund will match it up to $100,000. This investment, together with the generous support of people like you – will help us meet this community need. We invite you to join Bright Horizons in making Palliative Care Services accessible to our community.
If you’d like to make a gift to our Palliative Care Program, call us today. Sally Green, Director of Development 831 430 3033.