Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness that is intended to relieve pain as well as physical and mental stress and improve a person’s quality of life. Family Home Health Network’s Palliative Care Program is patient- and family-centered with the goal of optimizing the quality of life.
Differences Between Palliative Care and Hospice Care
Hospice care and palliative care can be very similar but differ in the treatment, services, location, timing, and payment coverage.
- Treatments are not limited with palliative care and can range from conservative to aggressive/curative.
- Hospice care treatments are limited and focus on relief from symptoms. The goal is no longer to cure but to provide comfort and the best quality of life possible.
- Palliative care services are focused on relief from pain and other symptoms while still supporting individuals and their families socially, spiritually and psychologically. Typically, palliative care involves supporting clients in managing their health care needs, including coordinating health care services, answering questions about their condition, managing medication and diet as well as helping to make health care decisions.
- Hospice care includes many of the same benefits of palliative care. However, because a client receiving hospice care has a diagnosis with a life expectancy of six months or less, individuals and their families may receive additional resources for care and support.
- Palliative care can be provided in a skilled nursing setting, hospital, extended care facility and in the home.
- Hospice care is delivered anywhere the individual lives, including at home or a long-term care facility such as a nursing home or assisted living community.
- Palliative care can commence at any time. Curative treatments are also available.
- Hospice care is available when an individual has a life expectancy of six months or less.
- Palliative care is usually covered by Medicare Part B and most insurance plans.
- Hospice care is usually reimbursed by Medicare Part A and most insurance plans.