Palliative Care FAQs

What does palliative care do?

What can I expect?

You can expect to have more control over your care and a comfortable and supportive atmosphere that reduces anxiety and stress. Your plan of care is reviewed each visit by the palliative care team and discussed with you to make sure your needs and wishes are being met and that your treatments are in line with your goals. You can also expect relief from symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. Palliative care addresses the whole person. It helps you carry on with your daily life. It improves your ability to go through medical treatments. And it helps you better understand your condition and your choices for medical care. In short, you can expect the best possible quality of life.

Will my insurance cover palliative care?

Most insurance plans cover all or part of the palliative care treatment you receive, just as with other medical services. This is also true of Medicare and Medicaid. If costs concern you, a social worker or financial consultant from the palliative care team can help you with payment options.

Do I have to give up my own doctor?

The palliative care team provides an extra layer of support and works in partnership with your primary oncologist. Your primary oncologist will continue to direct your care and play an active role in your treatment.

Can I have cancer treatment together with palliative care?

Absolutely.  Your treatment choices are up to you. You can get palliative care at the same time as chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Who else, besides the patient, can benefit?

Everyone involved! Patients as well as family caregivers are the special focus of palliative care. Your doctors and nurses benefit too, because they know they are meeting your needs by providing care and treatment that reduces your suffering and improves your quality of life.

Who provides palliative care?

Our team is led by advance practice nurses, who work with our nurse, social worker, counselor, dietitian, and pharmacist. Our medical director, who supervises the clinic, is Dr. Bajaj.

What is the difference between hospice and palliative care?

Palliative care is for anyone with a serious illness. You can have it at any age and any stage of an illness, and you can have it along with cancer treatment.

How do I get palliative care?

Ask for it! Start by talking with your doctor or advance practice nurse.