palliative care

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Medical care aimed at improving quality of life and treating symptoms, rather than care intended to cure an illness. Palliative care may consist of medical, social, and emotional support and can be offered alongside curative treatment. Palliative care may be administered as part of the hospice program for the terminally ill or to those who suffer from a serious life-threatening illness, but not necessarily a terminal illness, such as cancer or Parkinson’s.

There has been some controversy over whether palliative care is covered as a “reasonable and necessary” expense for workers’ compensation purposes. However, a majority of states hold the view that treatment may be considered reasonable and necessary even if it is palliative in nature.

[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]