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Myth: Hospice is not palliative care.
Truth: All hospice services are palliative in nature, however, not all palliative care is delivered under the Medicare hospice benefit.

Hospice and palliative services are at time confused. There are several similarities:
• Both hospice and palliative services have a goal of improving quality of life for the patient and family.
• Both can be provided wherever the patient considers home.
• Both are covered under Medicare, Medicaid and many insurance plans.

However, there are key differences. Please see the reverse side to review the grid that compares hospice care and palliative services.


Services Hospice Palliative


Is a comprehensive approach that is focused on comfort care. It provides patients and families with pain and symptom management and helps with the stress of a terminal illness.  Provides patients with a relief from specific symptoms of a serious or advanced illness, and can be delivered at any stage of the illness.


Applicable for a patient whose physician states the individual's prognosis is for a life expectancy of six months or less if the terminal illness runs its normal course.  Applicable for any patient at any stage of a serious or advanced illness. 
Curative Care The patient has decided not to seek any more treatment that could provide a cure, but would rather focus on being comfortable and having the best quality of life. The patient may still receive comforting treatments while receiving hospice care.  Can be provided along with treatment that might provide a cure or extend life beyond 6 months. 
Support Offers physical, spiritual and emotional support to the patient and family including family counseling, help with end-of-life decision making, and bereavement services.  Focuses on managing or improving a specific issue of the advanced disease and offers patient and family education on treatment goals, techniques to control pain and complex decision-making. 
Care Team

Care Team
Medical Director
The patient's physician
Registered Nurses
Hospice Aides
Social Workers
Spiritual Care Coordinator
Bereavement Counselor
Physical, Occupational and Speech/Language Therapists
Patient and Family

Nurse Practitioner
Patient and Family
Additional Covered Services Medications
Home Medical Equipment
Medical Supplies

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