Healthcare Navigator: Resources for Providers

When is the right time to refer a patient to Palliative Care services? Often, providers are unsure of what specific criteria or guidelines exist to support a referral. The following information offers insight and screening criteria to help with this important decision.

Palliative Care Information for Providers

Palliative Care is appropriate at any age and stage of a serious medical condition. Patients still interested in curative-based treatments and rehabilitation benefit from Palliative Care. Conditions that qualify for Palliative Care include:

  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Chronic Lung Disease
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • COPD
  • ALS
  • Dementia
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Stroke

Palliative Care is intended to relieve the symptoms and stress of the patient and their caregiver(s) and can be combined with curative treatment measures. If the patient is experiencing any of the following, this treatment may be the right decision for them:

  • Frequent hospital admissions or ED visits
  • Difficulty controlling physical and/or emotional symptoms related to a serious illness
  • Uncontrolled symptoms, such as dyspnea, nausea, fatigue, etc.
  • Poor or declining functional status
  • Shortness of breath/Oxygen dependent 
  • The patient/family expresses a desire for help with determining goals for care
  • The patient/family expresses a desire for help with advance care planning
  • Uncertainty or information requests from the patient, family member(s), or physician(s) regarding prognosis, treatment goals, or Palliative Care appropriateness 
  • Noticeable, concerning weight loss
  • Use of tube feeding or TPN in cognitively impaired or seriously ill patients


It is not uncommon for a variety of these to occur. In any case, the patient's values and preferences should be considered when making treatment decisions. Refer to the Palliative Care Screening Tool below for guidelines and criteria.

If you feel that your patient could benefit from receiving additional support from Palliative Care of Baton Rouge or have questions about criteria for admission, please complete the referral form below or call (225) 767-4673.


Refer a Patient