What is Palliative Care and Is It Covered by Medicare?

Updated: Jul 21

There is nothing more important than caring for the well-being of our loved ones. When our spouse or parent becomes seriously ill there is a need for medical support, sometimes above and beyond basic medical treatments and prescriptions.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is a specialized type of medical care reserved for people who are living with a serious or life-threatening illness. Its purpose is to provide relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness in order to improve quality of life for the patient and their family. In practical terms, palliative care is inpatient care, outpatient care, prescription drugs, and mental health counseling.

Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who are specially-trained to provide additional care to improve a person’s quality of life alongside the patient’s other doctors. The purpose of palliative care is to meet the needs of the patient, rather than provide curative treatment for the patient’s prognosis. Specifically, it looks to improve the physical, social, mental, and emotional quality of the patient’s life; with care plans built around specific needs.

  • Physical support is all about relieving pain and other symptoms of the illness while helping the person accomplish daily tasks they may be struggling with.

  • Different types of mental healthcare such as grief support and meetings with social workers are provided to support the person’s mental, emotional, and social needs on an ongoing basis.

  • Palliative care providers may even provide support for practical needs such as helping the patient get their finances in order.

  • Palliative care is important for anyone who is suffering from a serious illness but it can be especially helpful for people who are nearing the end of their life.

Does Medicare cover palliative care?

Yes, both Original Medica