Frequently Asked Questions

Find your care

We provide whole-person care to maximize your quality of life. Call 424-259-8160 to learn more about inpatient palliative care services. Call 424-259-7009 to schedule outpatient services or for general questions about outpatient palliative care. 

The goal of Palliative Care is to improve quality of life for patients and their families who have chronic or life-limiting illnesses.

  • Pain/symptom management
  • Improve/maintain quality of life
  • Determining goals of care
  • Discuss realistic expectations
  • Clarification of code status
  • Family/staff support during withdrawal of life support
  • Psychosocial/spiritual support
  • Coordination of care across settings
Palliative CareHospice
Life-prolonging/disease-modifying treatments OKGenerally foregoes life-prolonging treatment
Terminal, chronic, or acute illnessTerminal illness
No time restrictions 
Not covered by all insurance plansInsurance, Medicare usually covers

If you: (from

  • Have a disease or injury that cannot be cured
  • Have made multiple trips to the emergency room in the past 6 months
  • Have pain or other symptoms that interfere with your daily activities
  • Need assistance with setting your goals of care and treatment preferences

Take the “Is Palliative Care Right for You?" quiz.

Yes! Palliative Care services are available for children while in the hospital through our Pediatric Palliative Care Program. After discharge, there are several agencies that specialize in Palliative Care services for children.

While you are in the hospital, your primary physician can help you determine if Palliative Care is right for you. If so, the Palliative Care team at UCLA will become a part of your health care team.

After discharge, Palliative Care services may be available to you through outpatient physicians and other agencies.

Most Palliative Care services, including the service at UCLA, follow a consultation model. This means that the Palliative Care team will work with you and your health care team to develop a plan of care that meets your needs.

Yes, Palliative Care is covered by most insurance policies, including Medicare and Medi-Cal. For more information, please ask your insurance provider.

No! Palliative Care began in the 1980s under the premise that all patients with chronic diseases should receive proper symptom management regardless of the stage of their disease.

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No! Studies have shown that patients with appropriate pain and symptom management often live longer and enjoy a better quality of life than those without.

Absolutely. Palliative Care will follow you through all stages of your disease and treatment, and is most beneficial when started early in your disease process.

Other than pain, the Palliative Care team may treat symptoms including:

  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Anorexia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hiccups
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Depression, hopelessness, and isolation
  • Anticipatory grief and bereavement
  • Any other symptoms arising from your disease or treatment

Yes. Notify the Emergency Room team or your admitting physician that you would like to be seen by the Palliative Care team.

Addiction is compulsive drug use despite harmful consequences and is characterized by an inability to stop using a drug, failure to meet obligations, and sometimes tolerance and withdrawal.

  • Patients who take medications for the purpose of pain control very rarely become addicted. However, patients may develop tolerance to medications and require more to achieve a certain effect. This is different than addiction, and is an expected response to the medication.
  • Pseudoaddiction is a collection of behaviors that resemble addiction or "drug seeking" behaviors. However, in pseudoaddiction these behaviors occur because of unrelieved pain, and they disappear when pain is effectively managed.

Most side effects from pain medications, including drowsiness and dizziness will subside after 1 to 2 days. If side effects persist or are extremely bothersome, your Palliative Care team can make adjustments to your medications as needed.

The Palliative Care team will offer bereavement support, including information, links to support groups, and a celebration of life gathering.