What You Should Know About Palliative Care
- Specialized medical care for people with serious illness
- Focused on relieving symptoms, pain and stress
- Appropriate for any stage, any age, together with curative or other treatments
- Goal-driven to improve quality of life for the patient and family
- Provided by a team that works with a patient's primary and consulting physicians to provide an extra layer of support
Palliative Care is Not Hospice
Palliative care is symptom management and comfort care provided at any stage of a serious illness.
Some people confuse palliative care with hospice care. They think that palliative care is only given to patients who are dying. This may make some people wary about asking for services.
Palliative care is not hospice care. Both have the same kind of pain relief and comfort care services. Both use a team of experts. But palliative care can be given at any state of a serious illness. Hospice care is only for patients with an approximated life expectancy of six months or less.
How Palliative Care Works
If you are suffering-or a loved one is-from a serious illness and need help with symptom management, you can be referred for palliative care.
Palliative care is for anyone who is seriously ill. It is care that can be provided at any stage of an illness. It can be provided along with curative treatment. Your physician can determine if palliative care would be right for you.
Medicare, Medicaid and some commercial insurances pay for the physician/APRN portions of the Palliative Care Program.
The program is funded in part by Hutchinson Regional Medical Center. An application for assistance is available to all who request it.