Jefferson University Hospitals

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I receive palliative care?

Palliative care is provided if a person has a serious illness and one or more of the following:

  • Patient, family, or team need assistance with complex decision making and determination of goals of care
  • Difficult-to-control pain or other symptom distress (such as dyspnea, delirium, nausea) related to a serious medical illness
  • Difficult-to-control psychosocial or spiritual issues related to a serious medical illness
  • Multiple hospitalizations for same diagnosis
  • Progressive decline in functional status
  • Progressive metastatic cancer
  • New diagnosis of life limiting illness for symptom control or determination of goals of care
  • Need for Advance Care Planning or clarification of DNR status
  • Utilization of ICU setting in patient with documented poor prognosis
  • Prolonged ICU stay or transfer to the ICU setting without evidence of progress
  • Questions regarding artificial nutrition or hydration in cognitively impaired, seriously ill or actively dying patients
  • Patient or family requests for care determined by primary team to be differences in family and team goals of care
  • Patient, family, or team request for information regarding hospice appropriateness

What can I expect?

At Jefferson, palliative care is provided in the hospital and in an outpatient setting. In addition, you can expect:

  • Relief from symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping
  • Support with emotional, spiritual, or financial stressors that may affect you or a family member during treatment for cancer
  • Help carrying on with your daily life
  • Improved ability to go through medical treatments.
  • Help with understanding your cancer diagnosis and your choices for medical care
  • An improved overall quality of life

Will my insurance cover palliative care?

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover palliative care. If costs concern you, a social worker or financial consultant can help you navigate through the benefits process.