Hospice and Palliative Care

There is often confusion between the terms hospice and palliative Care. What most people don’t know is that palliative care is provided by hospice and serves as a “bridge” to hospice care.

The differences between palliative care and hospice care are as follows:

HOSPICE CARE:

Definition:
Provides medical services, emotional support, and spiritual resources for patients who are in the last stages of their disease. Focus is on enhancing patient’s quality of life by keeping them as comfortable as possible through pain and symptom management.

Timing:
Must have terminal diagnosis with life expectancy of 6 months or less.

Treatment:
Patients concentrate on comfort and may not seek life-prolonging treatment.

Payment:
Hospice is covered by most private insurance plans, HMO’s, Medicare, Medicaid.

PALLIATIVE CARE:

Definition:
Specialized medical care for people with serious diseases. It is a team approach to care between specialists, patients, family and The Tillers. It focuses on providing patients with relief from symptoms, pain and stress with the goal of improving quality of life for the patient and family.

Timing:
There are no time restrictions. Can be received by patients at any stage of an illness, regardless of whether disease is terminal.

Treatment:
Patients concentrate on comfort to improve quality of life while seeking curative treatments.

Payment:
Most insurance plans cover part or all of the palliative treatment, including Medicare and Medicaid.