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Palliative and Hospice Medicine

Through compassionate Palliative and Hospice Care, ECHN is dedicated to helping provide the medical care, comfort and emotional support needed to respect you and your loved ones wishes. In most cases, we seek to provide comfort and safety in a home setting if possible.

Palliative care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of serious illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage of illness and it can be provided along with all other medical treatments.

ECHN Medical Group's Palliative Medicine Program

Our Palliative Medicine team includes social workers, nurses, physical and occupational therapists and pastoral care, who work together with your doctors to provide an additional layer of support.

Palliative Medicine consultations can occur at the same time as all other treatments for your illness. Our palliative care providers, together with your own doctor, make sure that you receive:

  • Symptom relief including pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, numbness and issues with sleep
  • In-depth communication with you and your family about your goals, your concerns and your treatment options – and how to match your goals with those options
  • Coordination of care among all of your health care providers
  • Improved ability to tolerate medical treatments and the side effects of the disease
  • Improved ability to carry on with daily life
  • Emotional, practical, and spiritual support for you and your family

Our Services

We provide inpatient and outpatient consultations and follow up visits with our dedicated Palliative Care Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. We also work in collaboration with Visiting Nurse and Health Services of Connecticut to handle all referrals and coordination of home care services if and when they are needed.

Services provided:

  • Family meetings and patient/family counseling to establish goals of care
  • Interdisciplinary meeting coordination between you, your family and your health care providers to discuss prognosis and treatment options
  • Expertise in managing physical and emotional symptoms
  • Support in resolving conflicts. This includes conflict/changes to your care goals, DNR orders and treatment requests
  • Coordination of care across settings – patient admission, discharge, follow-up appointments and home care


When should Palliative and Hospice Medicine be considered?

Palliative and Hospice Medicine is recommended for patients who have the presence of a serious illness and one or more of the following:

  • New diagnosis of a life-limiting illness for symptom control that requires increases in patient/family support
  • Declining ability to complete activities of daily living
  • Weight loss
  • Locally advanced or progressive metastatic cancer
  • Two or more hospitalizations for illness within 3 – 6 months
  • A patient, family member, or healthcare provider has uncertainty regarding prognosis
  • A patient, family member, or healthcare provider has uncertainty regarding appropriateness of treatment options
  • Advance directive assistance
  • Conflicts or uncertainty regarding the use of a feeding tube in seriously ill patients
  • Limited social support in setting of a serious illness. For example, homelessness, no family/friends/support system, chronic mental illness and overwhelmed family caregivers
  • A patient, family member, or healthcare provider requests information regarding hospice appropriateness

There is also neurological and cancer criteria to determine if care should be considered. These criteria include:

  • Locally advanced or metastatic cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease with poor functional status or dementia
  • Advanced dementia with dependence in all activities of daily living

Additional Information

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover palliative care, and is handled the same way as other speciality services such as oncology or cardiology.

Patients may be referred to the palliative care team by a healthcare provider. Patients may also request a referral from their provider. ECHN Medical Group's Palliative Care Team will work together with a patient's primary care provider and healthcare team.

Contact Us
ECHN Medical Group – Ellington Primary Care
175 West Road
Suite 200
Ellington, CT 06029


Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care