Primary Palliative Care vs. Specialized Palliative Care and Reasons to Refer to Hospice and Palliative Care

These modules describe oncology team practices that are “primary palliative care” compared to palliative medicine specialist care, when a palliative medicine specialist may be appropriate for a patient, the difference between palliative care and hospice care programs, when a referral to hospice is appropriate, and the basics of what hospice care provides.

Target Audience

This educational program is designed to meet the educational needs of oncologists, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, and other health care/oncology professionals who manage patients with cancer.

Additional information

This activity is supported by a grant from The Coleman Foundation, Inc.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.55 ANCC contact hours
  • 0.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 0.50 Participation
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Parent activity set: 

Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships
All faculty and activity planners participating in NCCN continuing education activities are expected to disclose any relevant financial relationships with a commercial interest as defined by the ACCME’s, ANCC’s, and ACPE’s Standards for Commercial Support. All faculty presentations have been reviewed for adherence to the ACCME’s Criterion 7: The provider develops activities/educational interventions independent of commercial interests (SCS 1, 2, and 6) by experts on the topics. Full disclosure of faculty relationships will be made prior to the activity.

The faculty listed below have no relevant financial relationships to disclose:
Catherine Deamant, MD
Joanna Martin, MD
Jen Obel, MD
Amy Scheu, MSH, CHPCA

The faculty listed below have disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
Christine Weldon, MBA
Foundation Medicine, Inc.: Consulting Fees
Genentech, Inc.: Consulting Fees

NCCN Staff Disclosures
The activity planning staff listed below has no relevant financial relationships to disclose:
Ann Gianola, MA; Kristina M. Gregory, RN, MSN, OCN; Kristin Kline Hasson; Joan S. McClure, MS; Deborah Moonan, RN, BSN

The NCCN clinical information team listed below, who have reviewed content, has no relevant financial relationships to disclose:
Susan Darlow, PhD; Deborah Freedman-Cass, PhD; Miranda Hughes, PhD; Jillian Scavone, PhD

The ACCME/ANCC/ACPE defines “conflict of interest” as when an individual has an opportunity to affect CE content about products or services of a commercial interest with which he/she has a financial relationship.

ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC focuses on financial relationships with commercial interests in the 12-month period preceding the time that the individual is being asked to assume a role controlling content of the CE activity. ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC have not set a minimal dollar amount for relationships to be significant. Inherent in any amount is the incentive to maintain or increase the value of the relationship. The ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC defines “’relevant’ financial relationships” as financial relationships in any amount occurring within the past 12 months that create a conflict of interest.

All faculty for this continuing education activity are competent in the subject matter and qualified by experience, training, and/or preparation to the tasks and methods of delivery.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 0.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation. NCCN designates this educational activity for a maximum of 0.55 contact hours. Accreditation as a provider refers to the recognition of educational activities only; accredited status does not imply endorsement by NCCN or ANCC of any commercial products discussed/displayed in conjunction with the educational activity.

Kristina M. Gregory, RN, MSN, OCN, is our lead nurse planner for this educational activity.

Physician Assistants
AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society. Physician assistants may receive a maximum of 0.50 hours of Category I credit for completing this program.

Available Credit

  • 0.55 ANCC contact hours
  • 0.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 0.50 Participation

Learning Objectives

Following this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Differentiate between supportive care, palliative care, and hospice care
  • Identify primary oncology team practices that are considered “primary palliative care”
  • Compare palliative care provided by a primary oncology team to care provided by a palliative medicine specialist
  • Describe the basics of what a palliative care program provides
  • Differentiate how an outpatient palliative care program differs from hospice
  • Identify when to make an inpatient or outpatient palliative care or hospice referral
  • Explain the basics of what hospice provides and when a patient is eligible for hospice care

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
Course expires: 


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Required Hardware/software

To complete this activity, users will need:

  • A device with an Internet connection and sound playback capability
  • Adobe Flash Player and/or an HTML5 capable browser for video or audio playback
  • Adobe Reader or other PDF reader software for certificate viewing/printing