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Understanding Palliative Care

Hospice vs. Palliative Care

Hospice Care

Patients with a life-limiting illness may be eligible for referral to a hospice program. Hospice is a benefit covered by Medicare and Medicaid and some private insurances. It provides a range of services at home and elsewhere, including physician support, nurse case management, home health aide, social work, chaplaincy, medical equipment and medications. Most hospice care is provided in the home. Your physician may suggest hospice care and ask palliative clinicians or an on site hospice representative to speak with you about this benefit.

Is Palliative Care the same as Hospice?

No. Palliative care helps people manage the symptoms and stress of a disease at any point in a serious illness. It can be used together with treatments that are intended to help you live longer. Hospice is for people whose condition is very advanced, are not expected to live more than several months, and are not receiving life-extending treatments for the condition.

Hospice Resources

Pain Management vs. Palliative Care

Pain management specialists provide care for chronic pain associated with conditions that do not generally affect life expectancy. Some of these conditions include osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, and pancreatitis. They may also be involved in pain management associated with serious illnesses.

Palliative care specialists focus on patients with serious and/or potentially life limiting conditions and, as such, the pain and symptom management provided by palliative care is in the care of patient in these situations.

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