Hospice and Palliative Care

L.A. Care covers hospice care and palliative care for children and adults, which help reduce physical, emotional, social, and spiritual discomforts.
Adults ages 21 years or older may not get hospice care and palliative care services at the same time.

Hospice care

Hospice care is a benefit that services terminally ill members.
Hospice care requires the member to have a life expectancy of 6 months or less.
It is an intervention that focuses mainly on pain and symptom management rather than on a cure to prolong life.

Hospice care includes:

  • Nursing services
  • Physical, occupational or speech services
  • Medical social services
  • Home health aide and homemaker services
  • Medical supplies and appliances
  • Some drugs and biological services (some may be available through Medi-Cal Rx)
  • Counseling services
  • Continuous nursing services on a 24-hour basis during periods of crisis and as necessary to maintain the terminally ill member at home
  • Inpatient respite care for up to five consecutive days at a time in a hospital, skilled nursing facility or hospice facility
  • Short-term inpatient care for pain control or symptom management in a hospital, skilled nursing facility or hospice facility

Palliative care

Palliative care is patient and family-centered care that improves quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering.
Palliative care does not require the member to have a life expectancy of six months or less.
Palliative care may be provided at the same time as curative care.

Palliative care includes:

  • Advance care planning
  • Palliative care assessment and consultation
  • Plan of care including all authorized palliative and curative care
  • Plan of care team including, but not limited to:
    • A doctor of medicine or osteopathy
    • A physician assistant
    • A registered nurse
    • A licensed vocational nurse or nurse practitioner
    • A social worker
    • A chaplain
  • Care coordination
  • Pain and symptom management
  • Mental health and medical social services

Adults who are age 21 or older cannot get both palliative care and hospice care at the same time. If you are getting palliative care and qualify for hospice care, you can ask to change to hospice care at any time.

Back to Medi-Cal Benefits Covered by L.A. Care