Advanced illness presents unique challenges. Patients need symptom management and their families need support during this time. Palliative care addresses these needs through a comprehensive review of the patient’s current health circumstances, goals, and aspirations.
Palliative consultations take place with a physician that specializes in pain and symptom management. These highly skilled providers work closely with your primary physicians and care teams to offer options that enhance your quality of life. This consultation usually precedes a Hospice referral or decision to explore Hospice care.
Goals of palliative care include:
- Enhance the quality of life by managing symptoms.
- Provide emotional and spiritual support.
- Coordinate a plan of care and establish an active support system.
- Treat pain and alleviate suffering.
- Provide choices in advance care planning.
Palliative care differs from hospice in the following ways:
- It can be provided earlier in the disease process than Hospice.
- It does not require a six-month prognosis.
- It can be utilized with traditional or on-going medical treatments.
- It can be accessed while the patient is undergoing rehabilitation care.
- It focuses on physician or mid-level practitioner consultations, whereas hospice includes an array of services from an interdisciplinary care team, includes medical equipment and medications.
What are the costs associated with a palliative care consult?
Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances cover the costs of palliative care consultations. For people without coverage, the Cascade Health Foundation provide charity care when needed.