WHAT IS PALLIATIVE CARE?
Palliative Care is a medical specialty that supports individuals with serious, chronic and life-limiting conditions at any stage of their illness. Unlike hospice care, which supports a patient solely at the end of life, Palliative Care supports patients throughout their illness and focuses not only on physical symptoms but also a person’s (and their family’s and caregivers’) mental, emotional and spiritual health. Palliative Care takes an interdisciplinary approach to assist patients in every aspect of their lives, thereby improving their quality of life and aiding in their recovery.
The PWGA, working with the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF), now offers Palliative Care for Participants and their dependents. Palliative Care covers such things as:
- Assistance with advance care planning
- Assessments for depression, anxiety and other issues related to a diagnosis
- Supportive counseling to assist you and your family in processing the changes a serious diagnosis can bring
- Home health
- Durable medical equipment
- Legal assistance
- Food delivery programs
- Caregiver support
HOW DO I KNOW IF PALLIATIVE CARE IS RIGHT FOR ME AND MY FAMILY?
The Palliative Care benefit supports covered Participants and dependents who are seriously ill.
If during the last 12 months under your Health Plan coverage, you have had a medical claim with one or more of the qualifying events listed below, the program may be right for you.
Qualifying diagnoses include, but are not limited to:
- Certain cancers
- Heart Failure
- Lung failure/pulmonary illness
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Renal disease
Even if you do not fit into one of the categories above, you may still be able to get Palliative Care Assistance. The MPTF offers a range of supportive services to members of the entertainment community and their families. The best way to determine eligibility and what resources are available to you is to contact MPTF directly at: (323) 634-3888.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO USE THESE SERVICES?
There is no cost to Participants and their dependents.
WHAT IF I HAVE LOST MY COVERAGE?
Even if you have lost your coverage or are awaiting a coverage period to begin, the MPTF is set up to assist people in the entertainment industry. You can contact the MPTP directly at: (323) 634-3888.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
You may be referred to the Palliative Care program by a provider, or you can get started by contacting the program yourself at: (323) 634-3888. The process generally works like this:
- Phone assessment. You can call the Palliative Care program at: (323) 634-3888 or if your provider has referred you to the program, you will be contacted by phone for intake by either the Palliative Care social worker or RN. During the intake call, the social worker or RN will ask questions about your circumstances including diagnosis, symptoms, support system, entertainment industry affiliation, military veteran status, advance care planning documents, etc. You will also receive a description of what Palliative Care is and how it might benefit your current situation.
- Initial visit (virtual or in person). The Palliative Care coordinator will reach out by phone to schedule your first visit with either the MPTF Palliative Care-certified team (social worker, chaplain, RN) alone or the MPTF team plus the UCLA Palliative Care, MD. The first visit is usually 60 minutes and may be, depending on your preference, via Zoom or in-person at the Palliative Care clinic on the MPTF’s Woodland Hills campus.
If a visit is going to include the UCLA Palliative Care MD, the Palliative Care RN will call you 1-2 days before your visit to get a list of the medications you are currently taking and discuss any specific symptoms or issues you want to address at the visit.
- Follow-up contacts, depending on need. Following a visit, the Palliative Care coordinator will reach out via phone to schedule the next visit. Follow-up visits are generally 30 minutes. Frequency of follow-up visits is dependent on your situation. The RN may call to follow up on any new medications or treatments that were prescribed and answer any questions. The social worker may call or email with information about resources mentioned during the meeting. The chaplain is also available for any follow up needs.