What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is specialized medical care focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Who Provides Palliative Care?
Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of physicians, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other physicians to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care can be used at any stage in a serious illness – along with curative treatment – at any age.
Palliative care teams specialize is treating patients with serious illnesses. Symptoms treated include pain, depression, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and other symptoms that may be causing distress.
Who Pays for Palliative Care?
Insurance coverage for palliative care is available through Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans. The patient and family can pay for services out of pocket if no other payment option is available. The patient and family should discuss payment options with the physician and palliative care staff.