Hospice and palliative care both offer compassionate care to patients with life limiting illnesses. But palliative care – which is always a component of hospice care – can be used as a separate area of medical practice while the patient is receiving treatment.
Hospice care includes palliative care and addresses the patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as well. Hospice can help with such daily activities as administering medications, bathing, and dressing, but hospice does not provide full time caregivers. Hospice requires that a willing, able and available caregiver be in the home, unless alternate arrangements are made.
While palliative care is growing in recognition, getting services to patients in need of them remains a tough task. According to NEJM Catalyst Insights Council Survey, 80% of organizations have a palliative care/end-of-life program, but 60% of patients who could benefit from the services don’t receive them.
Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Support is provided to the patient’s loved ones as well.
Hospice care and pharmacy is a growing market and often provided in a patient’s home. Hospice care and pharmacy also is provided in freestanding hospice centers, hospitals, and nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Hospice services are available to patients of any age, religion, race, or illness.
Hospice care and pharmacy is covered under Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance plans, HMOs, and other managed care organizations.
There are more than 4,500 hospices forecast to be operating in 2020, with more than 1.4 million Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in hospice care for one day or more in 2016.
Hospice care and pharmacy has gained the attention of investors and large industry stakeholders as Humana’s acquisition of interests in Kindred Healthcare and Curo Health Services effectively makes the company the nation’s largest hospice provider.