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A doctor discussing healthcare options with a patient in an examination room.
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Hospice Care vs Palliative Care

Differences between hospice and palliative care:

Although both hospice & palliative care focus on providing the patient comfort, there are some unique differences between the two types of care. It is important for patients to understand the differences before deciding which service aligns with their healthcare goals.


  • Care is intended for patients who have a terminal illness and 6 months or less to live

  • Assistance with end-of-life planning

  • A unique plan of care that is specific to the patient and family’s needs

  • Appropriate for patients choosing to focus on comfort care, not wanting to pursue aggressive treatment

  • Services last as long as a hospice physician qualifies the patient as having 6 months or less due to a terminal diagnosis

  • Services are covered 100% by Medicare Part A and most private insurance companies


  • Care is intended for patients who have any long-term illness

  • Assistance with medical decisions and developing a personalized plan for care

  • Patients can pursue life prolonging treatments

  • Specific healthcare professionals including social workers and registered nurses from the palliative department are involved with care

  • Services last as long as the patient needs, and are available anytime the patient feels they need assistance

What's in Common:

  • Symptom management is a key focus in the care plan

  • Assistance with spiritual, emotional, and bereavement support

  • Services are provided wherever the patient calls home

  • People in hospice always receive palliative care, but hospice focuses on a person’s final months of life

Available 24/7

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