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Frequently asked questions

When is palliative care needed?

Palliative care can help you at any stage of a potentially life-limiting illness. It is best introduced early in the plan of care, but can be received at any time, including during and after curative treatment.

A patient may need palliative care if he or she:

  • is suffering from symptoms that are hard to treat such as pain, nausea, fatigue, depression, anxiety
  • needs help understanding treatment choices
  • wants support with making difficult medical decisions
  • needs assistance coordinating treatments from different physicians

How can I get palliative care?

If you think that you or a family member would benefit by receiving palliative care while in the hospital, the first step is to ask that a doctor currently involved in your care request a consultation. We provide palliative care through the Hospice & Palliative Care Team. Talk with your doctor or nurse about whether palliative care services might be right for you.

Palliative care also is available through our home care partner, Hospice & Palliative Care.

Is palliative care the same as hospice care?

No. Palliative care is offered at any stage of an advanced or life-limiting illness, while hospice care is appropriate for people with terminal illness during the last stages of life. Regions Hospital partners with Integrated Home Care and other community resources for end-of-life care.

Must other treatments be stopped in order to receive palliative care?

No. Palliative care is designed to help support treatment that you are already receiving for your illness. Our team, which includes physicians, nurses, social workers and pastoral care, works closely with your primary doctor to ensure complete, well-coordinated treatment.

Is palliative care covered by insurance?

Palliative care is covered by most insurance plans.