Several commenters, trying to help carve out a definition, merely talked around the concept. This one came close:
The underlying premise is that the patient has a "life-limiting" disease (what used to be referred to as a terminal disease), but that unlike hospice, there is a role for palliative care early on in the disease course, mostly for symptom management and social & spiritual support, even as the patient receives disease-modifying or curative treatment concurrently….There are times when you would not get palliative care involved, for example, with a 20 year old patient with pyelonephritis or a 45 year old with an acute MI.
That still leaves COPD, dementia, cerebrovascular disease, heart failure, easily 90% of internal medicine, under the umbrella of palliative care. This is something the entire hospitalist service, not a just special team, should be doing.