Both palliative and hospice care services provide comfort care but are different. Where palliative care programs and hospice care programs differ is in the location, timing, payment, and service eligibility. Here are definitions of both services:
Palliative Care is a type of care that can start upon diagnosis of an illness and carry throughout its duration, even after hospice care has started. The word “palliative” is an adjective that describes medicine or medical care that relieves pain without dealing with the actual cause of the condition. This applies mostly to those with a life-threatening illness with the goal of providing the best quality of life for patients and their families. This type of care intends neither to accelerate or postpone death. Individuals seeking palliative care should speak to their providers and express their wishes or needs throughout the course of the illness.
Hospice Care is a type of care that begins when treatment of a disease has stopped, and it is realistic that a person may not survive more than six months. Hospice services are designed to provide supportive care and tend to focus on quality of life rather than curing the illness. Services may include doctor and nursing services, medications for symptom and pain management, medical equipment, grief counseling, and more. Services can be provided in the home, assisted living settings, nursing homes, or other facilities. Please contact your insurance provider to find a covered hospice provider in your area. For hospice recipients on Medicare, Traditional Medicare will cover hospice benefits regardless if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or Traditional Medicare Coverage.
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