Pediatric Palliative Care
All children less than 19 years old, who are determined by a physician to have a potentially life-limiting illness, are eligible for the program. Children are admitted to the program without regard for diagnosis, gender, race, creed, age or ability to pay. Visit Massachusetts Department of Public Health Pediatric Palliative Care Network for the most up to date information.
- Prenatal to 19 years of age with a life-limiting diagnosis.
- All life-limiting diagnoses are included. PPCN providers retain on file a DPH-approved form, completed and signed by the referring licensed Massachusetts physician, dated by the physician, including identifying information about the child, including birth date, and documentation of the child’s life-limiting condition. Transfer by consent to the hospice of physician records containing the same information may substitute for the form. Documentation should be on file within 2 weeks of referral.
- The child must be a resident of Massachusetts.
- When considering the appropriateness of a referral, discernment is given to recent medical crises and activity, i.e., hospitalizations, ER visits, frequency and severity of respiratory events, more advanced stage of illness, etc. Families of children who are medically fragile are also socially fragile. Efforts should be made to identify those children at highest risk.
- There are no restrictions as to the life expectancy of the child.
- Children in the PPCN program may continue to receive care directed at cure.
- Admission to PPCN does not preclude the child and family from treatment choices or hopeful, supportive therapies.
Contact us to learn more about pediatric palliative care eligibility in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.