PATH Program (Palliative Approach to Health)

Dealing with the symptoms of any painful or serious illness is difficult. However, special care is available to make you more comfortable right now. It’s called palliative (pal-lee-uh-tiv) care. You receive palliative care at the same time that you’re receiving treatments for your illness. Its primary purpose is to relieve the pain and other symptoms you are experiencing and improve your quality of life. Facing a serious illness? The PATH Program may be right for you. Illness comes with many challenges: medical, emotional, spiritual and logistical. Devoted Healthcare’s Palliative Approach to Health (PATH) program can assist you to navigate these challenges, to find spiritual and emotional balance, and to take advantage of all the resources our community has available. PATH also helps your whole family find the support they need during this difficult time. With the help of PATH, you and your family can become more empowered to take charge of your health and care.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is comprehensive treatment of the discomfort, symptoms and stress of serious illness. It does not replace your primary treatment; palliative care works together with the primary treatment you’re receiving. The goal is to prevent and ease suffering and improve your quality of life.

If you need palliative care, does that mean you’re dying?

The purpose of palliative care is to address distressing symptoms such as pain, breathing difficulties or nausea, among others. Receiving palliative care does not necessarily mean you’re dying.

Palliative care gives you a chance to live your life more comfortably.

Palliative care provides relief from distressing symptoms including pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, problems with sleep and many other symptoms. It can also help you deal with the side effects of the medical treatments you’re receiving. Perhaps, most important, palliative care can help improve your quality of life.

Is palliative care the same as hospice?

NO , the two are not the same. Hospice and palliative care both focus on quality of life, and a person receiving hospice services will receive palliative care (pain management, emotional support, and so on). However, the use and scope of hospice is limited to the end of life.

Here are some points illustrating the difference between palliative care and hospice:

Palliative care strives to provide you with:

Who is on the Devoted palliative care team?

How do you know if you need palliative care?

Start on the PATH as soon as you need it.

It’s never too early to start palliative care. In fact, palliative care occurs at the same time as all other treatments for your illness and does not depend upon the course of your disease.

Working together as a Devoted team

Patients who are considering palliative care often wonder how it will affect their relationships with their primary doctors.

Some of their questions include:

Most important, you do NOT give up your own doctor in order to get palliative care. The palliative care team works with your doctor.

Getting palliative care is as easy as asking for it

In most cases, palliative care is provided anywhere the patient is located.

The process begins when your doctor refers you to the Devoted palliative care team. You can also ask your doctor for a referral.

Insurance pays for palliative care

Many health plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover palliative care services in the hospital, but you should check with your insurance company. Ask about your coverage in the hospital and as an outpatient.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Patients dealing with chronic and advanced illness who need extra levels of coaching and care. Diagnoses could include cancer, stroke, cardiac disease, Alzheimer’s or any serious chronic illness.
  • Patients receiving treatment (such as radiation, chemotherapy or dialysis) for a serious medical condition.
  • Those who are finding day-to-day life increasingly difficult to cope with because of serious illness.
  • A thorough review of the patient’s goals of care, emotional and overall state of mind, and well-being.
  • A caregiving assessment to ascertain whether caregiving is currently adequate. If caregiving will need to be increased in the future, PATH will help the patient and family make plans for how to achieve this.
  • A safety assessment to ensure the patient is currently safe and to help plan for future needs.
  • A review of all medications the patient is currently taking to ensure that they are properly used and understood.
  • Referrals to community agencies for further support.

Nothing. It’s completely free. Can I receive other treatments while I am a PATH patient? Absolutely! PATH patients may continue or seek out active curative treatments such a radiation, chemotherapy or dialysis.

Don’t wait to get the help you need

If you think you need palliative care, ask for it now.

Tell your doctor that you’d like to receive a Devoted palliative consultation or call (800) 613.9199.