An illness, whether it’s curable, chronic or life-threatening can be a difficult thing to come to terms with.
During this time, pain management, symptom relief or emotional support may not be the first things you worry about, for yourself or a loved one. WV Caring understands that, but we also think it’s important to address these issues from the beginning of diagnosis.
Our goal is to provide you or your loved one with improved quality of life: relief from pain and symptoms, as well as provide the emotional support that you or they may need at the onset of an advanced illness – or at any point along the way. This is called palliative care.
Read on to learn more about this service, some common questions that we get and when it’s time to consider palliative care.
Palliative care begins when the illness affects an individual’s quality of life. When a patient receives palliative care, our team works with them and their doctor to control discomfort and improve their quality of living.
Palliative care continues through the treatment process or until a physician determines that the focus of treatment should shift from curing to caring.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT PALLIATIVE CARE SERVICES
- Isn’t palliative care the same as hospice care?
No. You can receive palliative care long before you would be eligible for hospice services.
Palliative care and hospice care share the same principles of comfort and support; however, palliative care begins at the onset of or any time along an advanced illness journey, whether it is curative or life-limiting; while, by insurance regulation, hospice care services start when the physician believes that the patient has six-months to live if the disease runs its normal course.
- Why do I need a palliative care doctor if I already have a primary care doctor?
Palliative care is a medical specialty, just like cardiology and oncology. Palliative care physicians work with your primary care physician and other specialists to provide enhanced patient care with a focus on quality of life.
Your primary care doctor will typically focus on treating your disease while your palliative care physician will focus on preventing or alleviating suffering, helping you and your loved ones cope and try to improve your or their quality of life.
- Why can’t a primary care doctor be concerned with preventing or alleviating my or their suffering?
Your or their primary care doctor is concerned with preventing/alleviate the suffering; however, palliative care physicians have special training in pain management and symptom control.
Your palliative care physician can also help you or your loved one’s family cope with the stress of the side effects of the treatment process, provide caregiver stress services and assist with difficult medical decisions.
- Does insurance cover palliative care?
Palliative Care is covered through Medicare Part B, Medicaid, most Commercial Insurances and private pay.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO CONSIDER PALLIATIVE CARE?
There are many reasons to consider palliative care.
- You or your loved one has been diagnosed with a serious illness such as any type of cancer, are suffering from a heart attack or stroke or having a muscle or joint disease.
- When symptoms have become burdensome.
- When you or your loved one needs additional advice about medical decisions.
- When the caregiver needs additional help caring for their loved one.
- You or your loved one has had many hospitalizations.
WV CARING | PALLIATIVE CARE SERVICES IN WEST VIRGINIA
At WV Caring, we want to make sure patients are comfortable, from the beginning, middle and end of their diagnosis.
We can offer you or your loved one quick relief from pain and symptoms, emotional support, caregiver stress relief services, medical advice and much more through palliative care.
WV Caring serves the following:
If you feel that it is time to consider palliative care, contact us.