I read the Jan. 14 article, A longer horizon for hospice, with interest. Palliative care isn’t “curative” care. It is “comfort-oriented” care. Hospice care is also comfort-oriented care. Hospice often works closely with palliative care, offering an interdisciplinary team of professionals for patients facing end-of-life care.
Both palliative care and hospice have comfort-oriented care in common, but also have distinctions. Patients don’t elect hospice because they give up seeking a cure. After family/physician discussions and evaluations, physicians can write an order for hospice care if, in the patient's disease process, they have six months left to live. However, many patients live much longer. As a matter of fact, sometimes patients stabilize and are discharged from hospice after their benefit is up because of the excellent care.
We are all healthcare consumers. We should all ask questions and be educated and informed on pain management specialists, palliative care, and hospice care.
Lauren Zeefe, Miami