Horizon Supportive Care Program
Are you or a loved one experiencing a serious medical illness or suffering from ongoing treatment side effects? If so, you don’t have to go through it alone.
The Horizon Supportive Care Program℠ can help you.
This free and voluntary program can connect you to palliative care services, when you need it.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on relief of the symptoms and stress from the illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for the patient and the family.
My name is Dorothy Mullen. My journey into palliative care started when it was revealed that I had stage 4 lung cancer. So, I had absolutely no idea until I was at stage 4. It was a telephone call from Helen DeLuca from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield [of New Jersey] informing me that this visit by a doctor who does palliative and hospice care was available.
I researched her case. I was excited to discuss with her the opportunity for a palliative care referral with Samaritan. So, she agreed, the doctor’s office agreed.
The Supportive Care Program℠ is based upon giving patients end-of-life with dignity, with control of their destiny, as far as what they want done, as much as they want done, as little as they want done. We collaborate with family members; we collaborate with the doctors. We make sure that the patient’s needs are met.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at the statistics on what that diagnosis means to realize that my options were going to include being much more open to hearing more about supportive care, palliative care, hospice care. I wanted to understand the whole spectrum of services available to me and this is where Blue Cross Blue Shield started obliging me by providing me with an education about what services were available.
The Supportive Care Program in general is very important because patients need an option of care. Oftentimes, patients get involved in the medical system and they get additional care without anybody asking what is very important to them, what are their goals of care. It’s been really great for us to work with Horizon because we’ve been able to collaborate. The hardest part with palliative care is really making sure that patients understand what palliative care actually is. Horizon has helped us identify some of those patients and allowed us to get involved in cases a lot earlier.
Dorothy is an amazing, wonderful person. In her mind, she really was not going to get aggressive treatment but did not know how to go about having her symptoms managed, as well as her quality of life taken care of. Our conversations circled around, what is important to you, what is your quality of life, what is your goal of care? How can we at Samaritan, as well as Horizon, obtain that goal of care for you and that quality of life for you?
She made it pretty clear that she didn’t want to take any opioids or medications that would cloud her judgment. She was looking for comfort measures that were outside of medicine.
We miss out on opportunities to be real with one another if we don’t deal with these issues of how we make medical choices. How we can feel more self-determined as we begin to lose control? I want the people in my life to know what my wishes are while I’m still articulate and able to express them.
I think she’s a fantastic person. The fact that she wants to leave this legacy behind to get out to as many people as possible, what we can provide on the medical end to patients. I think it’s really a gift that she’s leaving.
Supportive care means that I can have whatever services that I need on my own terms. I’m an organic gardener and it’s very much in keeping with who I am.
The Supportive Care Program enriches patients because we deal with the whole patient, we just don’t deal with the medical condition. We deal with the social, spiritual, family connections. We’re good listeners. You want something, I will do whatever I can within my ability to make sure that it happens.
This program does not take the place of your doctor’s advice or treatment plan. All health information will remain confidential. The Horizon Supportive Care Program℠ name is a service mark of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
The Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
The Horizon® name and symbols are registered marks of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.© 2019 Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Three Penn Plaza East, Newark, New Jersey 07105.
"I take pride in knowing I make a difference in someone’s life – whether it is allowing our members to cry or vent, or helping them navigate the health care system. I am very proud to be part of the Supportive Care Program."
- Helen DeLuca, Supportive Care Nurse
What the Supportive Care Program offers
We will work with you, your family members and your doctor to:
- Identify your health goals.
- Navigate the health care system, including understanding your benefits.
- Address your specific needs.
Benefits of the Supportive Care Program
- Patient and Family Empowerment
- Help with treatment planning, and emotional and spiritual support, as well as coordination of care and access to community services.
- Enhanced Care Management and Support
- Access to Supportive Care nurses who will work together with your doctor and other health care professionals, ensuring you receive the care that’s right for you.
- Symptom Management
- Specialty trained registered nurses will work with your doctor to manage pain and other physical or emotional distress.
Get more information
For help, call the Horizon Supportive Care Program at 1-888-621-5894, option 2, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Time. TTY users can call 711 during the same hours.
- Get the latest news and information on palliative care, including webinars, podcasts and videos.
- Conversation of Your Life
- Useful resources, such as toolkits, conversation starters and much more.
- Free Five Wishes Online
- Your resource for advance care planning. Detailed information on how Five Wishes can help others in your life.
You have access to the resources and information you need to manage your health.
This program does not take the place of your doctor’s advice or treatment plan. All health information will remain confidential.
The Horizon Supportive Care Program℠ name is a service mark of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.