What is the Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care?

The main distinction between hospice and palliative care is the presence of a terminal illness. Hospice is a holistic, patient-centered, team-based protocol that provides comfort while seeking methods to enhance quality of life for the time the patient has left rather than seeking to cure the terminal illness.

Palliative care is also a patient-centered, team-based approach based on promoting comfort, but this may be in addition to traditional methods seeking to find a cure. This may also be used with chronic, but not necessarily terminal, conditions.

To be eligible for hospice care, the medical provider must indicate that the patient likely has 6 months or less to live. The costs of hospice are often covered by the Medicare hospice benefits plan. Any patient may request the addition of palliative care to his or her care plan. The costs of palliative care are typically covered by private insurance plans; however, Medicare Part B and some state Medicaid programs will cover some types of palliative care.

For more information on the cost of these care options as well as discussing long term care strategies and developing an asset protection plan, please contact Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599.