Providence Medical Group Palliative Care

Supporting people, improving quality of life

When you have a serious illness, your quality of life may diminish. Pain, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, stress and other symptoms can make each day difficult. Palliative care helps patients find relief.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is a special kind of medical care for people with advanced or serious illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of illness. The goal of palliative care is to give you the best quality of life possible.

Regardless of your age, diagnosis or stage of a serious illness, you can benefit from palliative care. This philosophy of care can be provided by your primary health care team and you may also have a special palliative care team added as an extra layer of support to your primary team. This special team may include doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers, nurses and chaplains.

What can you expect from palliative care?

We create care plans specifically to meet each patient’s unique needs. Services may include:

  • Management of complex symptoms related to life-limiting illness
  • Emotional and spiritual support
  • Coordination with your medical team
  • Guidance in making difficult choices about care based on your values, preferences and priorities
  • Help preparing for end of life
  • Assistance with advance care planning
  • Grief, bereavement and counseling support

Where can you receive palliative care?

Our team offers palliative care services to patients receiving care in facilities (in Providence Alaska Medical Center, St. Elias Specialty Hospital and Anchorage-area Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Homes) and through our clinic on the Providence Alaska Medical Center campus (offering in-person visits and telemedicine).

How is palliative care different from hospice?

Both programs aim to support comfort and quality of life when living with a serious illness. Hospice is focused on the last weeks to months of life and this team comes to patient’s home/residence to provides a great amount of help directly into one’s home (nurses, aides, doctors, chaplains and volunteers) and may be the sole focus of care when no longer receiving curative treatments.

Palliative care can be provided at any time during a serious illness and this team can support people in the hospital or facility, or in their home through our clinic services.  You can receive palliative care while also receiving life-prolonging or curative treatments.

Does insurance cover palliative care?

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid and private insurance, cover palliative care similar to seeing other doctors/specialists. If you have financial concerns, please let us know. Financial assistance may be available.