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Palliative Care FAQs

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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 at home, as well as in retirement homes and adult family homes. Palliative care for patients in the hospital is provided by MultiCare's Inpatient Palliative Care 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 the physician and home health clinician.  If constant supervision or care is what you need, we can help provide referrals to services that offer this level of care.
I've read that in order for in-home services to be covered by Medicare, Medicaid or even private insurance, the patient must be "homebound." What does this mean?
You may be considered "homebound" if you have difficulty leaving home by yourself, require assistance to leave home and/or do not leave home frequently except to go to medical appointments or other treatments related to your medical condition. The nurse or therapist will determine your homebound status as part of our initial assessment visit.
Once services have begun, how long will they continue?
Palliative care services continue as long as medically necessary, based on the assessment of the nursing or therapy case manager, your doctor and your progress.

Contact Us

MultiCare Home Health, Hospice & Palliative Care Services
253-301-6400 or 888-516-4504
Fax: 253-301-6528

3901 S Fife St.
Tacoma, WA 98409

Mailing Address:
PO Box 5200
Tacoma, WA 98415-0200

For Referrals:

253-301-6500 or 888-516-4505