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Hospice and Palliative Care: What’s the Difference?

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Hospice and Palliative Care: What’s the Difference?

Source: Healthline 

There is often confusion when it comes to palliative care and hospice. You might have even heard these terms used interchangeably. But palliative care and hospice aren’t the same.   

What do palliative care and hospice care have in common? 

Palliative and hospice care are medical specialties aimed at supporting people of all ages with serious, long-term illnesses, including, but not limited to, those listed below: 

  • liver disease 

  • organ failure 

  • Parkinson’s disease 

  • stroke 

Regardless of the illness, the goal of both palliative and hospice care is to: 

  • improve quality of life 

  • increase overall comfort 

  • provide emotional support for you and your family 

  • help you make important decisions about your medical treatment 

Neither type of care requires you to give up your primary doctor. Both palliative and hospice care will work with your primary doctor to coordinate and manage your care. 

How do palliative care and hospice differ? 

The main difference between palliative and hospice care is when they’re available. 

Palliative care is available from the moment of diagnosis. In other words, it doesn’t depend on the stage of your illness or whether you’re still receiving curative or life-prolonging treatments. 

Hospice is only available toward the end of life. It can be an option when a cure is no longer possible, or you decide to forego further life-prolonging treatment. 

To qualify for hospice care, a doctor must estimate that you have less than 6 months to live. 

Are both services covered by insurance or Medicare? 

Coverage depends on your insurance provider, illness, and which treatments you require. 

Palliative care treatments are sometimes covered by Medicare or private insurance. All treatments are billed separately, like any other visit to a healthcare professional. Check with your provider to find out which treatments are covered. 

Hospice is covered by Medicare, provided your doctor has evaluated you have 6 months left to live. 

If you have private insurance, it may also cover end-of-life care. Speak to your provider to find out what is covered and whether you qualify. 

Campbell County Health Home Health and Hospice provides dedicated, compassionate care for a range of patients. Though palliative care is not offered at our facility, our Home Health team assists families with the day-to-day care of loved ones as well as tending to medical needs from home. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to help you decide which type of care is best suited for you or a loved one and call Home Health and Hospice at 307-688-6230 for more information.  

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