Palliative Care

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Palliative care is a specialized medical care program designed to help you and your family cope with a serious illness. The CareFirst Palliative Care program is focused on providing you with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious condition — whatever the diagnosis.

Learn more about Palliative Care

Watch how Palliative Care can help you as soon as you are diagnosed with a serious illness

Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatment. CareFirst Thrive Palliative Care is available free of charge. Services can be offered at home, in a nursing home or other residential facility.

CareFirst offers a variety of Thrive Palliative Care programs to meet individual needs.

  • Thrive – Community based support bringing expert consultation and advocacy to empower families managing the demands of a serious illness
  • Pediatric Palliative Care – Standing with families, helping them cope with the unique needs of seriously ill children
  • Perinatal Palliative Care – Care for families facing the birth of a seriously ill or dying child
  • Hospital Based Palliative Care – Partnering with hospitals to support palliative care in the hospital setting

Download our brochure to learn more about CareFirst Thrive.

Is Palliative Care Right For You?

Anyone with a serious and progressive illness can receive CareFirst Thrive services at any stage of that illness.  These diagnoses could include cancer, stroke, lung or cardiac disease, dementia, kidney failure, AIDS, or many other chronic conditions.

You should contact the CareFirst Thrive program if you or your loved one:

  • is experiencing pain and distress related to a serious illness
  • may be undergoing treatment (such as chemotherapy, radiation, or dialysis) for an advanced medical condition
  • finds daily life more and more difficult

CareFirst Thrive is available to all age groups and diagnoses. Please contact CareFirst at 607.962.3100 if you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is “palliative” care’? 
A: Palliative Care is a coordinated health care plan that provides comfort care consultations support to patients, their families, and other caregivers, in the home or in facility-based settings. With a focus on enhancing quality of life for the patient and the family, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional care is provided by a medically directed interdisciplinary team consisting of the patient/family, CareFirst professionals, and volunteers.

Q: Do I have to be a hospice patient to take part in your palliative care program?
A: No. Hospice and Palliative Care are two separate services of CareFirst. The criterion for admission to Palliative Care is having an advanced and progressive disease. There are no prognosis criteria for admission and you can still be receiving curative treatment.

Q: What’s the difference between palliative care and hospice?
A: Hospice focuses on end-of-life needs for patients with a limited life expectancy and offers comprehensive in-home care with continuous coverage.  Hospice charges are covered by most major health insurances. Palliative care has broader admission criteria and offers a consultation service focused on symptom management and system navigation.  Palliative Care is free of charge.

Q: How do I request palliative care for a loved one?
Please call CareFirst at 607.962.3100. A CareFirst team member would be happy to answer your questions over the phone or meet with you and your family to start services.