What is the difference between Palliative Care & Hospice?

The goal of Palliative Care is to improve quality of life for patients and their families who have chronic or life-limiting illnesses.

  • Pain/symptom management
  • Improve/maintain quality of life
  • Determining goals of care
  • Discuss realistic expectations
  • Clarification of code status
  • Family/staff support during withdrawal of life support
  • Psychosocial/spiritual support
  • Coordination of care across settings

Palliative Care

  • Life-prolonging/disease-modifying treatments OK
  • Terminal, chronic, or acute illness
  • No time restrictions
  • Not covered by all insurance plans Insurance

Hospice

  • Generally foregoes life-prolonging treatment
  • Terminal illness
  • Insurance, Medicare usually covers

Is Palliative Care right for me?

If you: (from sebastianhospicecare.com)

  • Have a disease or injury that cannot be cured
  • Have made multiple trips to the emergency room in the past 6 months
  • Have pain or other symptoms that interfere with your daily activities
  • Need assistance with setting your goals of care and treatment preferences

Take the “Is Palliative Care Right for You?” quiz.


Are Palliative Care services covered by insurance?

Yes, Palliative Care is covered by most insurance policies, including Medicare and Medi-Cal. For more information, please ask your insurance provider.


Does receiving Palliative Care mean that I am dying or giving up?

No! Palliative Care began in the 1980s under the premise that all patients with chronic diseases should receive proper symptom management regardless of the stage of their disease.


Does receiving Palliative Care mean that I will die sooner?

No! Studies have shown that patients with appropriate pain and symptom management often live longer and enjoy a better quality of life than those without.


Can I still pursue active treatment of my disease (i.e. hemodialysis, chemotherapy, radiation) if I do Palliative Care?

Absolutely. Palliative Care will follow you through all stages of your disease and treatment, and is most beneficial when started early in your disease process.


What kinds of symptoms does the Palliative Care team treat?

Other than pain, the Palliative Care team may treat symptoms including:

  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Anorexia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hiccups
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Depression, hopelessness, and isolation
  • Anticipatory grief and bereavement
  • Any other symptoms arising from your disease or treatment

What happens after my loved one dies?

The Palliative Care team will offer bereavement support, including information, links to support groups, and a celebration of life gathering.