Palliative medicine is the medical specialty which focuses on symptom control rather than disease treatment. Hospice is a Medicare benefit in which a patient receives palliative care in their home through a coordinated team of health professionals.
In the early stages of a significant disease, hospice appropriately takes a back seat to curative medicine. However, when appropriate, the recognition of palliative medicine and hospice is not an admission of defeat, but rather of acceptance.
Hospice is appropriate when a patient’s prognosis is estimated to be six months or less. Some patients enrolled in hospice die before this time, while other patients survive more than a year while receiving hospice care.
In fact, hospice patients often live longer than similar patients not enrolled in hospice. More.