Z Codes: Understanding Palliative Care and Related Z Codes

October 11th, 2022 - Gloryanne Bryant

Palliative care is often considered to be hospice and comfort care.

Palliative care is sometimes used interchangeably with “comfort care” and then again sometimes with “hospice care.”  But these terms do have slightly different meanings and sometimes the meaning varies depending on who is stating it.

The National Institute on Aging which is part of the National Institute of Health (NIH) states the following regarding palliative care:

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness, such as cancer or heart failure. Patients in palliative care may receive medical care for their symptoms, or palliative care, along with treatment intended to cure their serious illness. Palliative care is meant to enhance a person’s current care by focusing on quality of life for them and their family.

According to the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS), palliative care is defined as following:

Palliative Care: Focuses on relief from physical suffering. The patient may be being treated for a disease or may be living with a chronic disease and may or may not be terminally ill.

  • Addresses the patient’s physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being, is appropriate for patients in all disease stages, and accompanies the patient from diagnosis to cure. Uses life-prolonging medications.
  • Uses a multi-disciplinary approach using highly trained professionals. Is usually offered where the patient first sought treatment.

While CMS describes this for hospice care:

  • Available to terminally ill Medicaid participants. Each State decides the length of the life expectancy a patient must have to receive hospice care under Medicaid.
  • In some States it is up to 6 months; in other States, up to 12 months. Check with the State Medicaid agency if there are questions.

...

Read the entire article at ICD10monitor by clicking here.

This article originally published on October 10, 2022 by ICD10monitor.

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