Know the Difference
Hospice vs. Palliative Care
How they are the same
Hospice and palliative care both offer compassionate care to patients with life limiting illnesses. But palliative care – which is always a component of hospice care – can be used as a separate area of medical practice while the patient is receiving treatment.
Hospice care includes palliative care and addresses the patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as well. Hospice can help with such daily activities as administering medications, bathing, and dressing, but hospice does not provide full time caregivers. Hospice requires that a willing, able and available caregiver be in the home, unless alternate arrangements are made.
Palliative care is also focused on relieving symptoms associated with the patient’s condition while receiving active treatment.
When they are used
Hospice care is reserved for terminally ill patients when treatment is no longer curative during the last 6 months of life, assuming the disease takes its normal course.
Palliative care can be employed while the patient is continuing active treatment through different phases of their life limiting condition.
Hospice care and Palliative Care treat the whole patient and the family, offering psychosocial and spiritual counseling.
Hospice care is paid for in full by the Medicare Hospice Benefit and by Medicaid Hospice Benefit. Most insurances and the Veteran’s Administration also cover hospice services in full or with minimal co-pays. Center for Hospice Care is committed to providing hospice and palliative care to anyone in the community who needs it and meets the qualifications, even if they are un-insured, under-insured or unable to pay.
Palliative care is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances if the patient meets criteria.
Where care is received
Hospice care is most often provided in a patient’s home setting – regardless of whether it’s a house, apartment, nursing home, assisted living facility or other setting. Some hospices offer inpatient services in hospitals, hospice facilities, skilled nursing facilities, or assisted living facilities.
Palliative care is most often received in the home, apartment, or during a short-term hospital admission.