Hospice care and comfort care are similar options for end of life care. Even though the two are set up to offer comfort to the patients, their programs differ significantly regarding payment, timing, location, and eligibility for services.

So, let’s look at the differences between the two.

Care Location

Hospice programs surpass comfort care programs. Typically, once registered via a referral from the chief care physician, a patient’s hospice care program is provided at home under the supervision of hospice professionals. Hospice mainly depends on the family caregiver and the nurse administering the hospice care. Although a hospice can offer the needed care in a nursing home or any other hospital equipped facility, it’s not feasible.

On the other hand, a comfort care team comprises of nurses, doctors, and other trained medical caregivers, who are ever-present at the treatment facility at which the patient’s treatment is administered. The role of the comfort care team is to administer and monitor the comfort-care accorded to the patients. Unlike hospice care that is mostly administered in homes, comfort care is administered in an institution like a hospital that is fully equipped with medical facilities or nursing homes under the supervision of a comfort care team.

hospice care at home

Timing

A patient is eligible for a hospice program if he or she has a lifespan not exceeding six months. Insurance companies are very strict about who qualifies for hospice benefits, and that’s why timing is a crucial factor.

Comfort care differs from hospice care in that there are no time limitations. Patients can receive this type of care at any time, phase of illness, whether they are in the last stages of their lives or not.

Payment Options

Likely, your health insurance policy has a limit for hospice and comfort care payments. Even though hospice is considered a broad treatment in regards to payment, its insurance coverage tends to vary. Note that some hospice programs provide affordable care services for uncovered patients or those that are economically disadvantaged. A significant number of hospice programs are covered under Medicare.

Since most palliative care services are administered via regular medical provider or hospital, there is a likelihood that your regular medical insurance covers it. It is worth noting that every item will be paid out individually, as it is the case with regular hospital visits and physician visits. In case you’re accorded outpatient palliative care, prescriptions will be paid out individually and are covered as outlined in your regular insurance. To find more information, get in touch with your insurance company, hospital management, and the palliative care team.

Treatment

A considerable percentage of hospice programs focus on comfort instead of aggressive disease relief. Hospice patients should opt-out of extensive life-prolonging treatment and focus on better utilization of the time left, in the absence of adverse side-effects associated with prolonged life treatments. Hospice care is intended to comfort the patients and allow them to focus on the emotional and practical issues related to death.

As for palliative care, there is no limitation as to when a patient should receive this type of care; it works well for the patients seeking comfort at any stage of illness, be it chronic or terminal. In a palliative care program, patients can opt for extensive life-prolonging treatment since the treatment routines will be adhered to.

However, it is good to note that there will be exceptions to the general rules stated. There are a few hospice programs that offer life-prolonging treatments, whereas there are other comfort care programs focus mainly on end-of-life-care. To find out the best service for you, get in touch with your doctor.

From the above, it is evident that hospice care differs from comfort care in various aspects, even though the two are alike. The type of care you choose will depend on several factors such as your health demands, location, payment options, and more.

Contact Cardinal Care for Hospice in Saginaw

If you are looking for end of life healthcare services, contact Cardinal Care. Our services for hospice in Saginaw, Michigan are unrivaled for patient comfort and satisfaction.