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How is Hospice Care and Palliative Care different?

There are similarities and differences between hospice and palliative care services. Both are meant to provide comfort and relief, but they differ in important ways. This infographic helps to explain the differences.

the difference between hospice care and palliative care

Adapted from National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

Please see the text version below:


Palliative Care

Hospice Care

Who can receive care? Anyone with a serious illness, regardless of life expectancy, can receive palliative care Someone with a life-threatening illness and a life expectancy of six months or less. Talk with your physician.
Can I continue to receive treatments to cure my illness? You may receive palliative care and curative care at the same time Treatments and medicines aimed at relieving symptoms are provided by hospice. The goal is comfort not cure.
Does Medicare pay? Certain treatments and medications may be covered by Medicare and private insurers. Medicare pays all charges related to hospice. Most private insurers also have a hospice benefit.
Does Medicaid pay? Certain treatments and medications may be covered In most states, Medicaid pays all charges related to hospice
Does private insurance pay? Certain treatments and medications may be covered Most private insurers have a hospice benefit
How long can I receive care? This will depend upon your care needs, and the coverage you have through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance As long as you meet the Medicare’s criteria of an illness with a life expectancy of months not years
What organization provides these services?
  • Hospitals
  • Hospices
  • Nursing Facilities
  • Healthcare Clinics
  • Hospice organizations
  • Hospice programs based out of a hospital
  • Other healthcare organizations
Who provides Hospice and Palliative services? Doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists and spiritual counselors. A hospice team that consists of a medical doctor, nurse, social worker, chaplain, volunteer, home health aide and others.
Where are services provided?
  • Home
  • Assisted living facility
  • Nursing facility
  • Hospital
  • Usually, wherever the patient resides. In their home, assisted living facility, nursing facility, or hospital.
  • Some hospices have facilities where people can live, like a hospice residence, or receive care for short-term reasons, such as acute pain or symptom management.