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What Is The Difference Between Hospice And Palliative Care

Accessing the health care options available can be confusing for individuals with serious illnesses. Our guide is designed to thoroughly examine the fine differences between hospice and palliative care. Let’s delve deeper to help individuals and their families make informed decisions about the most appropriate care for their situation.

Hospice Care vs Palliative Care

Hospice care and palliative care are two terms often used interchangeably when providing compassionate care for individuals facing serious illnesses. But the truth is, they are designed to address different needs and fulfill unique purposes. From definitions and eligibility criteria to care teams and payment options—not to mention the choice of care settings—here’s what you need to know about these essential healthcare services.

Hospice Care vs Palliative Care Definitions

Before we compare hospice care vs palliative care in depth, it’s necessary first to define them to understand the individual functions and requirements that define these essential forms of healthcare.

Hospice Care Definition

Hospice care is a specialized form of healthcare for individuals with life-limiting illnesses that focuses on enhancing the quality of life for patients and their families. Support is comprehensive, addressing patient and family medical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Hospice care begins after curative treatments are no longer effective or desired.

Palliative Care Definition

Palliative care is a broader approach to care that can be provided at any stage of a serious illness, not only at the end of life. The purpose is to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. This can be done alongside curative treatments and does not have to have life expectancy limitations.

Hospice vs. Palliative Care Eligibility

Hospice care and palliative care have specific guidelines to determine someone’s eligibility. Hospice care generally is for someone with a life expectancy of six months or less. Palliative care can begin at diagnosis and continue through treatment, remission, cure, or end-of-life care. Hospice care requires the patient to relinquish curative treatment to receive comfort care; palliative care does not.

Hospice and Palliative Care Teams

Each interdisciplinary need team includes doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and trained volunteers in building a hospice care team. Much in the same way, palliative care teams address patients’ varied needs and may involve just as diverse a group of professionals. Still, they can also include specialists that may be focused on the ongoing treatment of the curable illnesses some of their patients may have.

Paying For Hospice vs. Palliative Care

Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance often cover hospice care. Generally, hospice providers do not charge the patient for their services – they are usually covered entirely. As a less rigid, more flexible approach, some services under the heading of palliative care may be covered by insurance and offered for reduced costs or on a sliding scale based on the patient’s financial situation.

What Kind of Patients Choose Palliative Care?

Patients choosing palliative care may face serious illnesses but are not necessarily at the end of life. They may receive curative treatments and want comprehensive support to manage symptoms, relieve stress, and enhance their overall quality of life.

Where Do I Receive Hospice or Palliative Care?

In hospice or palliative care, patients can be anywhere, including their homes, an assisted living facility, a stand-alone hospice center, a home nursing care, or a hospital, where they might receive palliative care while continuing curative treatment. The setting depends on the patient’s medical needs, how much support is needed, and the patient’s and family’s personal preferences.

While hospice and palliative care share the approach to continuing holistic support for people with serious illnesses, they differ in service criteria, when they are provided, and the level of medical interventions. For compassionate and specialized hospice care services,.


Abundant Hospice Centre in San Antonio

Abundant Hospice provides compassionate hospice services for individuals with life-limiting illnesses. Their interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals offers tailored supportive care, including pain management, symptom control, and emotional and spiritual support. Abundant Hospice aims to empower patients and their families with open communication and personalized care plans, providing a comforting and supportive environment where individuals can live their final days with dignity and grace.

You don’t have to navigate this situation alone. We’re here to help. If you have any questions about our services, please feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation.