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Palliative Care

An extra layer of support to enrich your care, manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life

Many patients with a serious illness describe palliative care at Gundersen Health System as an additional layer of support that enriches the care they're already receiving. This is because our specially trained palliative doctors and nurses partner with your primary doctor and other healthcare teams to ensure all aspects of your well-being are being managed for a truly comprehensive experience.

The extra support palliative care provides for people with serious, life-limiting conditions may include:

  • Prescriptions and/or referrals for medicine and therapies to help address:
    • Pain
    • Loss of mobility
    • Fatigue
    • Shortness of breath
    • Problems such as nausea, heartburn, constipation and loss of appetite
    • Sleeplessness
    • Anxiety and depression
  • Help with understanding and coping with your illness
  • Assistance in setting goals to achieve a better quality of life
  • Spiritual and emotional support for you and your family
  • Nutrition consultations
  • Guidance with advance care planning
  • Coordination of community resources, such as setting up home care or other appropriate services
  • Help transitioning from curative treatment to a more comfort-focused approach, if needed

While these services can enhance the care of nearly anyone dealing with a serious illness, we recognize that everyone's circumstances are different. The type of support that may be integral to enriching one person's care may not be as important to you. Palliative care helps keep your preferences top of mind and address your needs.

Palliative care frequently asked questions

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Who pays for palliative care?

Most private insurers, Medicare and Medical Assistance cover palliative care services. There also are private-pay options. If you have any questions or concerns about insurance, please contact a Gundersen Health System customer service representative at (608) 775-8660.

Who provides palliative care?

Physicians, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses—specially trained in palliative care—work with various members of your existing healthcare team to meet the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of you and your family.

How do I enroll in palliative care?

Palliative care does not require a referral. If you or a loved one has a serious illness and would like the additional support of palliative care for a better quality of life, call (608) 775-0199 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Palliative Care is a department of Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center.

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