Patient Referral

Hospice nurse at the bedside of a patientComfort care is defined as a patient care plan that is focused on symptom control, pain relief, and quality of life. It is typically administered to patients who have already been hospitalized several times, with further medical treatment unlikely to change matters. Comfort care takes the form of hospice care and palliative care.

The National Institute on aging considers comfort care, "an essential part of medical care at the end of life," and people who are dying or suffering from a serious illness need care in four areas: physical comfort, mental and emotional needs, spiritual issues, and physical tasks. Comfort care addresses symptoms including:

  • Pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Skin irritation
  • Digestive problems
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • And more

How long can comfort care be provided?

Two nurses at a patient’s bedside smiling

The type of comfort care you receive will dictate how long it can last. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), under the Medicare hospice benefit, a patient typically must have a prognosis of six months or less within the doctor’s best estimation. Palliative care, on the other hand, can be provided without the required six-month prognosis and can occur concurrently with curative or life-prolonging treatment.

How much does comfort care cost?

Doctor and two nurses reviewing paperwork

The costs of comfort care varies depending on the provider and other factors. More than 85 percent of hospice patients are covered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit. Medicaid and private insurers cover comfort care costs as well. Deductibles and co-pays may apply.  Typically comfort care organizations such as Crossroads work with patients and families to ensure they receive the support they need. Learn more about who pays for hospice care.

Contact us now to learn more. 

The decision to opt for comfort care should be made by the patient, if possible, along with loved ones and physicians. If you have more questions about comfort care, the professionals at Crossroads are available 24/7 to provide support with services including hospice and palliative comfort care as well as grief counseling and other support options. View the locations we service, call us at 855-327-4677, or chat or email us with any questions via the green bar above.