Palliative care specializes in the relief of pain, symptoms and stress of serious or chronic (recurring) medical conditions. The goal is to prevent and ease suffering and to help patients and families attain the best possible quality of life. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of an illness and can be provided at the same time as curative treatment.
Comprehensive Care Team
The Allegiance Health palliative care team consists of board-certified palliative care physicians, nurse practitioners and social workers. They consult with adult patients and their families at the request of the primary care provider.
Team members work to improve the quality of life by:
- Explaining goals and treatment options
- Managing the pain and symptoms of a chronic illness
- Helping patients and their loved ones cope with emotional stress related to illness
- Reviewing healthcare options and preferences with patients and families
- Assisting with advanced care planning and end-of-life decisions
- Enhancing communication among the patient and family, caregivers and health care team
- Providing a nutritional assessment
- Evaluating home and environment conditions
- Supporting psychological and spiritual needs
- Identifying community resources
- Coordinating care in the home
Frequently Asked Questions
People with a serious illness can receive palliative care along with curative care, beginning at any time during medical treatment. A referral is needed from the primary care provider to begin palliative care.
Palliative care can be offered in the hospital, long-term care facility, assisted living facility, outpatient clinic or in a private home.
Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover part or all of palliative care services. However, individual insurance plans may vary. It is best to check with the individual insurance provider to verify coverage.
The main difference between hospice care and palliative care is the type of medical treatment offered to patients. Palliative care specializes in the relief of pain, symptoms and related stress of serious or chronic medical conditions. The goal is to prevent and ease suffering and to offer patients and their families the best possible quality of life during aggressive medical treatments. Hospice care, however, is usually provided when patients can no longer benefit from aggressive medical treatment. Hospice services are focused on maximizing comfort and minimizing pain during the last stages of life-limiting illness rather than to cure illness. Although there are a few differences between hospice services and palliative care, they both have the same goals: to enhance the quality of life, help with medical and psychological care, and assist with any transitions you and your family may be going through.
To receive palliative care through Allegiance Health, ask your primary care provider to complete the palliative care referral form and fax it to (517) 782-2062. If you have questions about palliative care, please call (517) 787-6001 or (517) 780-7289.