Palliative care is a relatively new concept in medicine, so it isn’t a familiar term to many. In addition, it is easy confuse palliative care with hospice care since they have so much in common. Therefore, to help you know which type of care you or your loved one may need, this article will compare hospice care with palliative care to give you a simple understanding of the differences between the two.
What do palliative care and hospice have in common?
- Both are comfort care.
- Both are designed to relieve the symptoms of serious illness and reduce the related stress.
- Both provide psychosocial as well as physical relief.
What are the differences between Hospice and Palliative Care? Here is a simple comparison of the two.
- Begins when two physicians certify that the patient has less than six months to live if the disease follows its usual course.
- Is comfort care without curative intent; patient is no longer responding to curative treatment or has elected not to further pursue such treatments.
- Is completely covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance, since it follows a terminal diagnosis.
- Usually takes place at home or in a home-like environment.
- Can begin at the discretion of the physician at any time, at any stage of illness, serious to end-stage.
- Is supportive care with or without curative intent. This care may relieve only symptoms or it may have a curative effect on the disease itself.
- Is paid for by insurance and/or self-pay, from office visits to prescription charges. Check with your health plan for coverage.
- Usually takes place in a hospital or medical facility.