Palliative Care

Not to be confused with hospice care, palliative care is medical care focused on pain and symptom management and enhancing quality of life for those facing serious illness. The board-certified palliative care specialists at MarinHealth are here to help patients make informed healthcare decisions, manage their symptoms, and live in comfort. Palliative care specialists can help in many ways:

  • Work with the patient’s physician to help optimize medical care, manage symptoms and treatment side effects, and enhance quality of life
  • Collaborate with hospital teams involved in the patient’s care to help patients and their loved ones make informed healthcare decisions and manage symptoms
  • Provide access to physical, emotional, and spiritual support
  • Help patients and families fill out relevant paperwork

Our palliative care team includes a physician, a nurse practitioner, a licensed clinical social worker, and a spiritual care counselor.

Palliative Care FAQs

When should a patient be referred to palliative care?

This is a collaborative decision between the doctor, the patient, and the patient’s caregivers and family. However, people are generally referred to palliative care in one of the following circumstances:
  • After repeated hospital admissions due to chronic illness
  • When they are experiencing declining health or having difficulty recovering from a serious illness
  • When symptoms or medical treatments are seriously affecting the patient’s quality of life
  • When a patient needs help with complex healthcare decisions for issues such as dialysis, feeding tubes, and other invasive procedures

How is palliative care different from hospice care?

Hospice care is for patients nearing the end of life, for whom treatment is no longer effective. Patients receiving palliative care are usually still receiving medical treatment and, depending on their condition, may get better and look forward to many more years of life. Unlike hospice patients, these patients continue to receive medical treatment in addition to palliative care.

Who can make a palliative care referral?

Anyone can request a consult via the patient’s physician or by calling the palliative care office.

Listen to Our Podcast: Understanding Palliative Care

In this segment, Matthew Katics, DO, explains how MarinHealth’s Palliative Care team also helps patients and their loved ones navigate this difficult process and understand their options for comfort or for end-of-life care.

For questions or more information, please contact the Palliative Care Office, Monday –­ Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at 1-415-925-7560. After hours, please dial our pager number at 1-415-235-0110.

MarinHealth also offers a community-based resource for patients, physicians, and caregivers at our Supportive Care Center, affiliated with UCSF Health. They are located at 1350 South Eliseo Drive, Suite 130, Greenbrae, CA 94904. Call 1-415-925-7450.