Learn about the Pediatric Palliative Care Network

Common questions about services, eligibility, and providers of the Pediatric Palliative Care Network.
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What is the Pediatric Palliative Care Network?

The Pediatric Palliative Care Network seeks to improve the quality of life of the entire family through its support and services.

What is the goal of the Pediatric Palliative Care Network?

The goal of the Pediatric Palliative Care Network is to improve quality of life through comfort and care of your entire family through its support and services.

Will our regular doctor be involved in my child’s care?

Yes. Your child’s regular doctor and health care team will still care for your child. A child may still receive treatment toward a cure, since new cures may be discovered during his or her lifetime.

What services are available?

Palliative care services may include:

  • Pain and symptom management
  • Nursing
  • Assessment and case management
  • Spiritual care
  • Social services
  • Sibling support
  • Volunteer support
  • Respite care
  • 24 hour nurse on call
  • Complementary therapies such as music, art, massage, and others
  • Bereavement care if needed 

Complementary therapies vary by provider. Services are usually provided in the home. Your family may choose which services you believe would be most appropriate to meet your family’s needs.

Is my child eligible?

A child must be 18 years old or younger and must live in Massachusetts to receive Pediatric Palliative Care Network services.

A physician must state that the child has been diagnosed with a condition that could limit normal life expectancy, such as:

  • Advanced or progressive cancer
  • Major organ failures
  • HIV
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Progressive genetic neurological or metabolic disorders
  • Severe cerebral palsy

There are no income limits or citizenship requirements.

How much will care cost?

The services of the Pediatric Palliative Care Network are provided at no cost to eligible children and their families if these services are not already covered by the child’s health care plan.

Who is part of the Network?

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health contracts with community-based organizations throughout the state to form the Pediatric Palliative Care Network. These unique programs are located within licensed hospice organizations because these professionals are experienced in helping to improve quality of life and managing symptoms. However, palliative care is not the same as hospice care.

Everyone in the Pediatric Palliative Care Network plays an important role, including the child, family, physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors and volunteers.

Pediatric Palliative Care Network Providers

Below is the list of the providers that provide palliative care through the MDPH Pediatric Palliative Care Network.  To determine which provider covers your city or town, download PPCN Providers by City and Town.

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