What’s the Difference? Hospice vs Palliative Care

Both Hospice and Palliative care offer considerate care to patients who suffer from life-limiting illnesses, while also providing pain and symptom management and relief. Hospice care is palliative by nature, but there are important differences. Because more than 90 percent of hospice care is paid for through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, hospice patients must meet Medicare’s eligibility requirements, whereas Palliative care patients are not required to. To qualify for hospice care, as a rule, you must be within six months of passing and in a terminal state, if your disease follows its expected course. Patients appropriate for Palliative care can be in any stage of an illness-terminal or otherwise.

Here are some other differences and similarities between the two.

Hospice care can be covered under Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances with expenses typically covered 100 percent. Palliative support is billed separately under a person’s regular medical insurance for individual items and services received (similar to a hospital or physician office visit).  A person is also responsible for prescription drug costs while receiving Palliative care-under hospice these are compensated.

Hospice patients typically remain in their own home, allowing them to be surrounded by family and loved ones. Palliative care is conducted in a hospital or nursing home setting, typically. One of the most important similarities between the two is that both of these programs offer support, not only to the patient but family members and caregivers as well. Hospice and Palliative care, together, encourage patients to live as active a life as possible and focuses on experiencing a better quality of life while LIVING with their diagnosis. As an auxiliary or enhancement to some of the more “traditional” care options out there, these two programs call for patients to receive a combined approach where medications, daily care, equipment, support services, and symptom treatment are administered through a single program.

For more information on CompassionCare and Hospice, or if you know someone who may benefit from either of these programs, call us today.