Palliative Care Program
Ensuring Kansans living with serious, potentially life-limiting illness have access to quality palliative care.
Increase access and utilization of palliative care through policy innovation, education, outreach and collaboration with healthcare professionals.
This program is committed to:
- Improving the quality of lives as families face the challenges associated with the symptoms and stress of a serious, potential life-limiting illness through education
- Increase access to palliative care resources
- Providing continuing education opportunities for Kansas professionals
If you or your loved one has a serious, potentially life-limiting condition it is important to seek out and receive palliative pronounced (pal-lee-uh-tiv) care. Explore our other resources and pages to learn more about palliative care in Kansas.
- What is palliative care?
Palliative care is patient and family-centered care that improves the quality of life for those who face a serious, potentially life-limiting condition by addressing the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs throughout the illness.
- Why is palliative care important?
Palliative care can provide patients relief from symptoms like pain, anxiety, shortness of breath, fatigue and other challenges that are the result of a chronic or serious condition, and the treatments for that condition.
Palliative care supports the patient, and their families.
- Who is palliative care for?
Palliative care can be provided at any age to someone who has a serious, potentially life-limiting condition. As with adult patients, pediatric and neonatal palliative care can improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Serious, potentially life-limiting conditions can include:
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Genetic disorders
- Heart and lung conditions
- Kidney and Liver Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neurologic disorders
- Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
- Parkinson's Disease
- How do I know if palliative care is what I need?
You may want to consider palliative care if you or your loved one:
- Suffers from pain or other symptoms due to a serious illness.
- Has physical or emotional pain that is not under control.
- Needs help understanding their illness and discussing treatment.
You may also consider your answers to 5 Questions (PDF). Then make an appointment to talk with your healthcare provider about the desire for you or your loved one to receive palliative care.
- Why should I get palliative care?
A primary goal is to reduce the symptoms and stress of living with your condition. The overall goal is to improve quality of life, which means helping the patient live their life to the fullest they are able.
- When is the right time for palliative care?
It is 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. Palliative Care planning does not have to take long or be difficult. Consider the following questions when planning:
- What do I understand about my illness and treatment?
- What resources and programs are available to provide me or my family support?
- What are the most important goals of treatment now and in the future?
- Where do I go for palliative care?
The availability of palliative care in Kansas varies by community. Hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing facilities and even your home can be locations to receive palliative care.
If you think you or your loved one could benefit from palliative care, speak with your health care provider, get connected through the Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Center or use your zip code with a Palliative Care Provider Directory.
- Who pays for palliative care?
Insurance such as Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial insurers will cover appointments with related co-payments and deductibles. Call your insurance company to see what they cover.
- Who will give palliative care to me or my loved one?
Palliative care is provided by a team of professionals, including physicians and nursing specialists, social workers, pharmacists, nutritionists, religious or spiritual advisors and others. The team works together to offer:
- Patients and their families with tools to manage pain, symptoms and stress.
- An extra layer of support to families and patients.
- A partnership between patient and family with other medical specialists.
- A focus on the needs of the patient, not the patient's prognosis.
- The best quality of life for patients and their families.
- What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?
Both types of care focus on improving quality of life of patient and family through symptom and supportive care. Hospice care is at the end-stage of an illness. Palliative care is available at any stage of a disease. Key differences are explained in our Hospice Versus Palliative Care Flyer (PDF).
- Still have questions about palliative care?
Other common palliative care questions are answered in the following 10 Must-Know Truths (PDF).