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Palliative Care FAQs

Common Questions about Palliative Care

What is palliative care?
Palliative care offers treatment that enhances comfort, and improves the quality of the patient's life, regardless of where the patient is in their treatment process. No specific therapy is excluded from consideration. Palliative care patients' needs are continually assessed and all treatment options are explored and evaluated based on the patient's symptoms, needs and wishes. You can learn more by visiting The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's website
What is the difference between hospice and palliative care?
Palliative care and hospice care have many similarities, and both share the goal of providing comfort and improving quality of life. However, hospice care is only available for those facing a life-threatening illness who choose to stop any life-prolonging treatment. Palliative care can be provided to patients at any stage of their illness or treatment.
Where is palliative care provided?
We support palliative care patients while they are staying in the hospital. Palliative care services are also available at home for patients receiving MultiCare at Home Home Health services.
Is palliative care covered by insurance?
Some palliative care coverage is provided by Medicare, Medicaid and by most private health insurance policies. Certain criteria must be met for Medicare or Medicaid coverage, and most private insurances follow the same coverage guidelines. To be sure of coverage, families should, of course, check with their health insurance provider.
How do I get palliative care services? Can I call in my own referral?
We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the many services we provide. However, we must have a doctor’s order to provide care. Talk to your doctor about your need for home-based services.
Is this 24-hour continuous care?
No. All care is intermittent, with the frequency of visits determined by your care team. 
Once services have begun, how long will they continue?
Palliative care services continue as long as medically necessary, based on the assessment of your doctor, your care team and your progress.

Contact Us

MultiCare Palliative Care

MultiCare Auburn Medical Center: 253-545-2807

MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital: 253-697-2861

MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital: 253-403-3087

Palliative Care Providers

Heather Chamberlain, ARNP

Tram Chu, MD

Megan Clarke, MSW

Kathleen Hurlow, MD

Jessica Kuculyn, MSW

Zeeba Mathews, MD

Lori Olson, MN, RN, CHPN

Cheryl Pate, MSN, ARNP, FNB-BC

Emily Pinzur, MSW

Francesca Stracke, ARNP

John VanBuskirk, DO

Tauri Wicklund, ARNP

Maia Syfers, ARNP