Palliative care is the comprehensive care of patients who have a life-limiting disease and are still seeking treatment. The goal of palliative care is to relieve suffering and provide the best possible quality of life for patients and their families. Emphasis is on the control of pain and other symptoms, as well as the psychosocial, emotional, and spiritual issues.
Palliative care is provided by the same professional team who provide our hospice services.
What is the Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care?
Hospice and palliative care are very similar in their goals and providers and palliative care can even transition into hospice. However, there are some important distinctions between the two:
- Hospice and palliative care differ in who should seek each type of care. Hospice care is generally reserved for an individual whose life expectancy is measured in months, not years. Palliative care is available for anyone with a serious illness, regardless of his or her life expectancy.
- Hospice and palliative care differ in their treatment approaches. In hospice care, treatment is primarily aimed at relieving symptoms and controlling pain rather than seeking active, curative treatment. Palliative care and curative treatment, however, are complementary and may be pursued simultaneously.
- Hospice and palliative care differ in the way Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies pay for the services. In Colorado, both Medicare and Medicaid pay all charges related to hospice. In addition, most insurance companies have a hospice benefit. Palliative care, though, is not yet a recognized service under Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance companies. Some treatments and medications may be covered, but it’s wise to check your policy or call the company for more detailed information.