Palliative Home Care

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the difference between palliative home care and regular home care?
Palliative home care is a specialized home health program designed for patients with advancing diseases, who are pursuing aggressive treatment. This program is ideal for cancer patients who are advancing in their disease and are still receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Palliative home care nurses have backgrounds in oncology, ICU and/or hospice.

What types of illnesses are appropriate for admission to BJC palliative home care?
Any patient with a progressive and advanced disease, including: cancer, pulmonary disease, renal disease, ALS, CVA, AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease. The vast majority of palliative home care patients are cancer patients.

Does insurance pay for palliative home care?
Yes. Palliative home care, just like an home care, is covered by Medicare, Medicaid/Illinois Public Aid and most private insurance policies.

When patients are referred to BJC palliative home care, does this mean they are close to needing hospice services?
No. This program is designed to serve the needs of patients with advanced diseases who are still pursuing aggressive treatments.

Are palliative home care patients required to be homebound?
Yes. Palliative home care follows the same regulations as home health care. The patient must be homebound and must have a skilled need, such as pain or symptom management, monitoring side effects of chemotherapy and/or radiation, draining PleurX catheters, wound care, etc.

Can palliative home care patients receive physical, occupational or speech therapy?
Yes. As long as the patient qualifies for therapy services, he/she can receive therapy at home.

Can palliative home care patients get infusion (IV) therapy at home?
Yes. palliative home care nurses frequently manage patients who are receiving TPN, IV antibiotics, IV pain medications, IV therapy. Coverage for infusion is based on the patient’s insurance plan.

What advanced diseases are appropriate for palliative home care?

  • Cancer
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney/renal disease
  • Pulmonary/lung disease
  • Cardiac
  • Neurological disease (MS)
  • Cerebrovascular disease (CVA)
  • AIDS
  • Arteriosclerotic heart
  • Lou Gehrig’s Disease/ALS
  • Multisystem failure
  • Rejection of transplanted organs