Palliative care is not hospice care: it does not replace the patient’s primary treatment; palliative care works together with the primary treatment being received. It focuses on the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness most often as an adjunct to curative care modalities. It is not time limited, allowing individuals who are ‘upstream’ of a 6-month or less terminal prognosis to receive services aligned with palliative care principles. Additionally, individuals who qualify for hospice service, and who are not emotionally ready to elect hospice care could benefit from these services.
Who can receive this type of care?
Any individual with a serious illness, regardless of life expectancy or prognosis.
Can a patient continue to receive curative treatments?
Yes, individuals receiving palliative care are often still pursuing curative treatment modalities.
What services are provided?
Pain and symptom management, in-person and telephonic visits, help navigating treatment options, advance care planning and referrals to community
Where are services provided?
Palliative care may be provided in any care setting.
Who provides these services?
Palliative care may be provided by an interdisciplinary team. However, most palliative services are provided by a physician, nurse practitioner or nurse with consultative support from social worker and chaplaincy services. These services are performed in collaboration with the primary care physician and specialists through consultative services or co-management of the patient’s disease process.
What types of health care organizations may provide these services?
Palliative care is not dependent on care setting or type of medical practice. Services are performed in collaboration with the patient’s primary care physician, other specialists, and health care settings they may be receiving services from.
Palliative Care Practices
Licensed Home Health Agencies
Licensed Hospice Agencies
How long can an individual receive services?
Palliative care is not time-limited. How long an individual can receive care will depend upon their care needs, and the coverage they have through
Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. Most individuals receive palliative care on an intermittent basis that increased over time as their disease progresses.
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Courtesy of Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Pacific Southwest District