November is Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Hospice and Palliative care services are often used interchangeably. However, they are distinctive services, and for many patients and families, they are services needed at different time and spaces in the continuum of care. Here are some frequent questions we hear about hospice and palliative care:

  1. Who can be treated? Palliative can treat patients who have a serious underlying condition and are pursuing curative interventions. Hospice is designed for individuals with a serious illness that doctors believe will result in the patient passing in 6 months or less. Patients are not pursuing curative treatments at this time.
  2. Will my symptoms be relieved? Yes, for both. Hospice and Palliative services are both focused on the quality of life. Symptoms, especially pain, are targeted in the intervention.
  3. Can I continue to receive treatments to cure my illness? Yes, for palliative. No, for hospice. Hospice is only supporting with symptom relief, not curative efforts.
  4. Will Medicare pay? Yes, for hospice. Medicare covers the hospice benefit. For palliative, Medicare may cover a portion of your costs, and you may have a co-payment depending on your level of coverage.
  5. Does private insurance pay? Every plan is different, and they may restrict number of days or visits that the member is eligible to access. There may be co-payments or deductibles included to access the benefit as well.
  6. How long will I be cared for? Palliative alone does not have restrictions on the length of service though some insurance plans may limit patient access. Hospice services may be provided as long as the criteria of a life limiting illness with under a 6 month prognosis is met.
  7. Where can I receive care? For both palliative and hospice care, services can be provided in the home, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and in hospitals.

For more information, check out

October is National Breast Cancer Month

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among American women.

The best way to find breast cancer early, when it is treatable and in most cases curable, is by performing self breast exams monthly and getting yearly mammograms.

Breast cancer does not discriminate; 1 out of every 100 cases of diagnosed breast cancer occurs in men.

Symptoms of breast cancer vary but may include changes in the size or shape of the breast, pain in the breast, nipple discharge, or new/non-healing rashes on the breast.

If you experience any of these symptoms or have any concerns about breast cancer, you should notify your provider and ask about your risk of breast cancer.


Weekly Pulse for March 21, 2022

Home Health
Start Date
Start Date
***Start Dates are contingent on receiving a complete referral***

Clinical Focus

Elite Home Health & Hospice is expanding. We are launching Palliative services in Idaho for Medicare patients on April 1st!!

Palliative services are a medical specialty service that are aimed at supporting the management of chronic illness to reduce pain and stress. Palliative professionals are uniquely trained to provide Medicare’s chronic care management services and support patient’s in defining interventions at various phases of their disease process.

Palliative services allow us to uniquely partner with local PCPs to coordinate multiple specialists and their interventions. Effective palliation should reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

Question Corner

Can’t I just provide palliative services for my patients?


The term “palliative care” is frequently used by medical professionals to address pain management and comfort in end-of-life. This use is an over-simplification of palliative services and frankly hospice services. True palliative care is directed to support the physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and emotional well-being of the patient. Palliative services are never offered as a single provider but rather a multidisciplinary team.

Palliative services aid the patient in making decisions about the levels of intervention in their disease course. Palliative services support the patient and family in identifying needs at the various phases to support meeting their wishes for disease process management and end-of-life care. Similar to hospice, the services related to emotional and spiritual support are often provided by professionals in social work and chaplaincy.

If you have questions about Elite’s palliative program, send us an email at  

People to know

Clarkston Liaison – Angie (contact information coming soon)

Lewiston Liaison – Beth (509) 254-1381

Moscow & Orofino Liaison – Scott (509) 234-3102

Business Development – Ashley (509) 843-7605

Quality of Life in Chronic Disease

How do we measure quality of life (QOL)? How do we know we are meeting our patients’ needs?

Whether patients are pursing curative treatments or are in the end-of-life phases of their disease processes, QOL is a term that is used to direct care and engage patients and their families in discussions related to their treatment plans. Chronic diseases are a unique setting for this term, because initial measures for QOL may change in the course of treatment and in the disease process. As we dive into chronic disease management, understanding the impact of successful and failed treatments can help providers build in supports for patients through their course of intervention. Bremer et al. (1989) highlight the impact on QOL measures for failed kidney transplant patients. Subsequent treatment plans inherently required mental health supports for patients whose initial treatment plan failed. Ongoing conversations to understand a patient’s perspective on QOL is essential to creating a comprehensive treatment plan. This approach asserts that the practitioner recognize that QOL is a moving target and will change with the patient’s clinical status. Further, assessment of side-effects related to pharmacological interventions and the interplay of comorbidities as they impact comfort and capacity suggest that QOL measures are more complex than just symptom mitigation (Edgell et al, 1996). QOL is an essential measure for successfully partnering with patients in chronic disease management.

Elite Home Health & Hospice perceives quality of life as the life desired by our patient. No one size fits all, and we plan for individualized treatment for patients that come to us on home health and progress to hospice. We are also expanding to provide palliative care services for patients still pursuing curative treatments who need the expertise of a practitioner to create QOL treatment plans.