Palliative Care

Primary care provider program focusing exclusively on patients living at home with a serious illness

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with advancing chronic disease. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress associated with serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team who works together with all the patient’s providers to set goals, coordinate care, and provide expert symptom relief. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with aggressive, life prolonging treatment.


Key Features of the Rainbow Palliative Care Program

  • Nurse Practitioner in home assessment
  • Collaboration with the patient’s primary care provider
  • Pain and symptom management
  • RN Case Manager
  • Understandable information about the patient’s illness and likely progress
  • Honoring Choices Wisconsin advance care planning conversations
  • Team-based approach that addresses physical, emotional, social, practical and spiritual needs/wishes of the patient and family
  • Access to 24-hour on-call services
  • Referral to other community-based resources

How Does Someone access the Palliative Care Program?

Although the palliative care program must be ordered by the patient’s primary care provider (family practitioner, internist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant), anyone – including family members, friends and the patient – can call us at 920-674-6255 to request an initial consultation. Once the call is received, Rainbow will contact the patient’s primary care provider to obtain an order for a consultation visit.

What Happens During the Consultation Visit?

The consultation visit usually takes 60-90 minutes and is conducted in the patient’s home by a nurse practitioner. At this time, the program is discussed in detail with the patient/family. The visit also includes a “goals of care” discussion within the context of the patient’s illness, and a complete history and physical exam including medication and treatment regimes.

What Happens After the Initial Consultation?

All information obtained in the consultation visit is reviewed by the interdisciplinary team.  A plan is then developed and specific recommendations for the patient are communicated to the primary care provider. Ongoing communication with the primary care provider will include findings from subsequent assessments, medication changes, coordination of specialty care, access to an RN team leader, and 24/7 on-call nurse availability.

Who pays for Palliative Care Services?

Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurers do not pay for palliative care programs beyond the initial consultation visit. However, Rainbow Palliative Care has developed a generous sliding fee scale based on the specific needs and income of each individual.

Whats the difference between Palliative Care and Hospice Care?