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Palliative Care Program

Palliative care program patient sitting with dog

Managing a serious illness can be difficult for everyone in the family, but there are special care teams and community resources that can help. The CareFirst Palliative Care Program centers around the belief our members should have access to the care they need at every stage of their lives. When you or a family member are facing a serious illness or significant injury, this program provides supportive care tailored for you.

What is palliative care?

This special type of care focuses on prioritizing quality of life and easing suffering, whether it is physical, psychological, emotional or spiritual. Palliative care is provided by a specially trained team of doctors, nurses and specialists who work together with other members of your care team to provide an extra layer of support.


Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness or injury. Ongoing, curative treatments may continue while you are receiving palliative care.

What types of services are provided?

Palliative care focuses on managing symptoms and relieving pain. This type of care treats pain, depression, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and any other symptoms that may be causing distress. In addition to coordinating medical care, other services may include:

  • Counseling and spiritual support
  • Help with treatment decisions and care planning
  • Explaining benefits and finding resources
  • Caregiver support

This program is available to eligible members in the CareFirst service area (Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia).

How can I get in the program?

In a care plan?
You may be referred into the program by your nurse care manager.

Not in a care plan?
Your doctor may refer you or you may call the Customer Service number on the back of your member ID card to confirm eligibility.