NorthStar Palliative Care
“Palliative” (pronounced “pal-LEE-uh-tiv”) comes from the Latin root meaning “cloak” or “cover.” The goal of palliative care is to provide comfort while other treatments work to improve or cure the illness or disease.
Our physicians and nurse practitioners specialize in palliative medicine and make house calls to treat symptoms, discuss goals of care and coordinate options with the patient’s primary care physician.
The Advantages of NorthStar Palliative Care
NorthStar Palliative Care is available for adults facing serious illness who have difficulty leaving the home for care. Our expert team takes a holistic approach and works with the patient and their caregivers to relieve pain and other symptoms. Patients and families tell us we bring them great peace-of-mind as we deliver these advantages:
- In home diagnosis and treatment (including prescribing medications when needed) of distressing symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and problems with sleep – that may be interfering with daily life
- Improved quality of life and ability to participate in activities
- Discuss and document the wishes, goals and concerns of your patient and their family
- Reduce triggers for visits to the emergency room
- Supports family members who are coping with changes in the patient’s condition
- Helps patients and their families gain a greater understanding of the illness, anticipates future needs and coordinate treatments with other healthcare providers as needs change
Palliative Care at the Patient’s Home
NorthStar Palliative Care’s team can provide care wherever the patient calls home – whether a private residence, partnered nursing home, memory care or assisted living facility. Our house calls are covered just like a doctor’s office visit by Medicare and many commercial insurances. Our providers can work alongside private duty and skilled home health nursing/therapy services to provide medical expertise in the home.
We visit the home as often as medically necessary, typically every 2 weeks until symptoms are controlled and then monthly or every other month depending on the complexity of the treatment regimen. We can arrange a house call earlier than scheduled when symptoms flare or conditions change.
Any physician or healthcare team member can make a referral to NorthStar Palliative Care, or patients and families can request a referral themselves. We will obtain medical information and communicate with the managing physician after every visit. When home is a care facility we communicate with the nursing staff to coordinate care. When family is spread across wide distances, we can conference in by phone, if requested to help keep everyone up to date.