What is The Difference Between Palliative Care and Hospice Care?

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Although these two terms are often used synonymously, and even though they do have similarities, palliative care and hospice care are really two different categories of care. These categories of care differ most in terms of the requirements for admission to the program, the location of the care, the insurance coverage and payment, and some aspects of the treatment itself. To make things even more confusing, there are times when the two categories of care can overlap, and there are also exceptions to these general rules about both types of care.

What is Palliative Care?

The main focus of palliative care is the relief of pain and suffering. Palliative care can be given for any type of debilitating or painful condition, from cancer with chemotherapy, a chronic respiratory illness to severe depression. The goal of this type of care is to relieve symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. To be admitted to a palliative care program, it is not necessary to have a terminal illness. A patient can receive palliative care at any time and even for a curable disease. Palliative care is paid for by most regular health insurance programs, including Medicare. Palliative care is most commonly given in a facility like a hospital or skilled nursing center, and it can focus on treatment and cure of a disease in addition to relieving pain.

What is Hospice Care?

The focus of hospice care is also the relief of pain and suffering, but in order to be admitted to a hospice care program, the patient must have a terminal illness or considered to be around the timeframe of six months from death. There is usually not a focus on the cure of the disease or on treatment that is aimed at improvement. Hospice care is generally administered most commonly in the home, with occasional admissions to a hospital or facility during times when symptom control are more difficult, or are considered challenging to perform and manage the care. Hospice care is paid for by specialized insurance programs that can vary from policy to policy. Medicare does cover some hospice care programs.

Learn More About Hospice Care Services Today

If you’re interested in learning more about what it means to be on hospice care, contact Ameriprime Hospice today by calling 1-800-899-9790.