What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Careveteranflag

  • Balance comfort measures and treatments for cure or control of serious disease
  • Focuses on achieving the best possible quality of life through:

* Relief of suffering
Control of symptoms
* Making the most of your ability to carry out day-to-day activities

  • May start at the time of diagnosis of a serious illness and be provided throughout the course of the illness

What are the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) palliative care policies?

  • Palliative care is part of every enrolled Veteran’s Uniform Medical Benefits Package
  • Veterans can get VA health care and benefits along with palliative care

 Who provides palliative care services?

  • VA facilities provide inpatient palliative care and a growing number of VA facilities can provide similar services in a VA clinic or in the home through Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) Programs
  • Limited palliative care services may be available in the community through hospice or home health agencies

 What palliative care services are covered?

  • Eligibility for palliative care services is determined by the payer (Medicare, Medicaid, VA or other 3rd party insurance company); availability of palliative care services may vary across the country
  • Palliative care services vary depending on the payer and may include:  

* Comfort care consultations and follow-up visits by interdisciplinary team members and volunteers
Assessment and treatment plan recommendations
* Support for medical decision-making
Visits at home, hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility
* Consultation with your physician(s)
Telephone ‘check-in’ calls when appropriate
* Practical assistance from trained volunteers when appropriate
* Information, referrals and care coordination to access community resources

Who pays for palliative care for Veterans?

  • Contact your local VA for specifics about palliative care services available in your area and potential fees, charges, or co-pays
  • Medicare and Medicaid
  • Private insurance companies

 For more information contact:

  • Your VA Primary Care Provider
  • Palliative Care Consult Team at your local VA facility

What is Hospice Care?