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Palliative care is a supportive type of health care designed to help you remain as active and comfortable as possible during intense, long treatments. If palliative care is new to you and your family, you'll likely have questions for your physician and palliative care team. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about palliative care.
Palliative care can begin any time that you and your doctor decide that an extra layer of support would be helpful. We can see you in the hospital or in one of our outpatient clinics.
Palliative care is a medical specialty that is covered in the same way as other medical services, such as cardiology. Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover all or part of palliative care.
Hospice focuses on the needs of patients who are in the end stages of life – where efforts to cure a condition are no longer effective or wanted. Palliative care, on the other hand, is effective when doctors and patients are actively treating an illness that is serious or even incurable, but not necessarily life-threatening in the short term. For example, palliative care might help a patient with heart failure by treating shortness of breath or helping a cancer patient with fatigue and pain.
Palliative care is often helpful for people suffering from cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), among many others.