When a child has a life-limiting illness or the illness only has a small chance of cure, families are in need of very special support. All efforts must be continued to extend life for as long as possible and hopefully to cure the illness. For this reason Section 2302 of the Affordable Care Act legislated that children (up to age 21) could access hospice care concurrent with curative care.
This means that treatment, such as chemotherapy for cancer, can be continued and paid for by Medicaid or other insurance while a child also receives support from a hospice team at home.
Some hospice providers have a special pediatric Hospice Team and others are supported by a specialized pediatric team. These teams work together to provide the best possible quality of life for the child and his or her family.
Hospice inpatient facilities are also able to provide care for children — sometimes as a transition to home after a hospitalization or for respite care. However, hospital care is usually preferred when an acute crisis occurs and the hospice team would continue to visit there for ongoing support. Services are individualized for each family depending on their needs.