Patient Care Services  > HomeCare Services/Hospice  > Palliative Care 

Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care focuses on the relief of pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness. The goal is to prevent and relieve suffering so patients have the highest quality of life. Palliative care is offered at any stage of an illness along with other medical treatment. Patients who still may be getting treatment aimed at a cure can have palliative care.

How Does Palliative Care Help?

We can help you and your family:

  • Learn more about your disease
  • Plan for advanced care
  • Make decisions
  • Provide emotional support
  • Provide spiritual or religious support
  • Make referrals to community agencies

Is Palliative Care the same as hospice?
No. While hospice care is available for those who are expected to live six months or less, palliative care helps and supports patients through all stages of a serious illness. It does not matter if you are still seeking treatment or not.

How do I start getting Palliative Care?
You can start by talking with your doctor or nurse. Also talk with your family, friends or caregivers about your wishes. You will need a referral for Palliative care at Palmetto Health Baptist or Palmetto Health Richland.

Who are the Palliative Care team members?
Our caregivers include a special team with advanced training, skills and experience working together to meet all your needs:

  • a doctor
  • a nurse practitioner
  • a social worker
  • a chaplain

Will my insurance pay for it?
Most insurance plans cover all or a portion of the palliative care treatment received in the hospital, similar to other hospital and medical services. This is also true of Medicare and Medicaid. If you have any questions or financial concerns, please talk with a social worker on the Palliative care team or to the Palmetto Health billing office.

Is Palliative Care right for me?
Palliative care may be right for you if you suffer from pain or other symptoms due to a serious illness. These can include but are not limited to:

  • heart disease
  • respiratory disease
  • kidney failure
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • AIDS
  • ALS
  • multiple sclerosis
  • cancer

It also may be right for you if you experience any of the following:

  • Frequent emergency department visits
  • Several hospital admissions (three or more within 12 months) with the same symptoms
  • A medical condition that is getting worse that requires help to control symptoms, pain or stress
  • Eating problems related to advanced illness

For more information about Palliative Care, call 803-296-2726.