Palliative (comfort) care is an approach to healthcare that acknowledges a person is more than a disease or illness. Rather, it focuses on the person and what is important to him or her.
Palliative care providers work with the patient to determine the ideal balance between treatment of the illness and managing symptoms. With a thorough evaluation of the patient’s current health status, providers help patients identify, evaluate and select care alternatives that best meet their individual wishes and goals. The palliative care plan often involves a multi-disciplinary team that helps keep the patient out of the hospital when it is unnecessary to be there and can reduce the overall cost of care while maximizing quality of life.
Patients receiving palliative care are not restricted by the six-month prognosis required of hospice. And, there is no requirement that patients forego efforts to cure their condition.