HomePAL (for home-based palliative care) is a palliative care program that provides an extra layer of support intended to improve quality of life for seriously ill patients and their caregivers. With services delivered to patients in their homes, HomePAL provides care that people need and want in the setting they prefer. All services are offered in addition to any care the patient already receives.
Primary care practice is rapidly evolving in response to emerging legislation and calls from national stakeholders to integrate palliative care into mainstream primary care. Recent California Senate Bill SB 1004 requires the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to “establish standards and provide technical assistance for Medi-Cal managed care plans to ensure delivery of palliative care services.” Additionally, there has been a nearly universal call for educating primary care physicians (PCPs) in palliative care principles.
Nine people who have faced serious illness either as patients or caregivers serve as consultants to our PCORI study on “expanding access to community-based palliative care.” Here we share some of the feedback these stakeholders have given us on a range of questions and concerns pertaining to palliative care delivery.