Palliative care is often recommended if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious illness and focuses on comfort and providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about palliative Care.

What is the difference between hospice and palliative care?

While the objective of both hospice and palliative care is compassionate comfort care for pain and symptom relief, palliative care can be provided along with curative treatment, whereas hospice care is typically reserved for when a person’s prognosis is six months or less and curative measures have been exhausted or are no longer desired.

Is Palliative care only for cancer patients?

No, palliative care is not just for cancer patients.  Anyone suffering from a serious illness such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), advanced Alzheimer’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and many others can qualify for palliative care.

Can palliative care treat my symptoms?

Yes, palliative care can treat uncomfortable symptoms related to your treatment of a serious disease.  These symptoms can be related to side effects of medication or treatments, or symptoms related to the disease process itself. For example, pain, nausea, and loss of appetite can decrease your quality of life and prevent healing.

Does palliative care require inpatient care?

No, palliative care can be started at any point during treatment.  Palliative care can be requested in the hospital, skilled nursing facility, or anywhere you call home.

What are my coverage options for palliative care?

Though Medicare and Medicaid do not use the word “palliative” for medical coverage, many of the medication and treatments provided as part of a palliative care regimen may be covered. Private insurance may also cover palliative care. Contact us and we can help get you answers!

Is Palliative care the same as Hospice care?

No, palliative care can be administered at any age and stage of illness. Our staff will aid in managing your pain or other symptoms while providing emotional comfort for you and your loved ones during this transition time.

Will my insurance cover palliative care?

Medicare does not use the term palliative, however original Medicare and Medicare Advantage both cover palliative care. Medicare Part A covers many of the inpatient and skilled care needed with palliative care. Medicare Part B covers most of the outpatient services that are needed during palliative care.  You may still have co-pays or fees. Many private health insurance plans provide some coverage for palliative care as part of their hospice or chronic care benefits. Contact us and we will help you navigate through this process!

If you are experiencing problems managing a serious illness, contact us to inquire about palliative care options.

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