Providing supportive care and symptom relief for seriously ill patients not on a hospice program, Sincera is a consultation service begun by Hospice of Northwest Ohio in 2008.
It has served more than 800 patients since that time, with 94 percent of them reporting significant improvement in comfort and quality of life. Sincera works with community physicians to provide an extra, highly skilled set of eyes and ears in the home when it is difficult for their patients to visit them in their offices.
“Our first goal is to find relief for pain or other symptoms a patient may be having due to their illness or side effects of treatment,” said Karen Caputo, Certified Nurse Practitioner for Sincera. “Then we focus on overall management of the chronic illness or, in many cases, help address the challenges of living with several different health conditions at once.
“Because we have much more time than is allotted in a typical physician office visit,” she explains, “we can answer questions, provide more in-depth information about disease progression, make recommendations about medications that may need adjusted, discuss goals of care and work with the patient’s physician and others to acquire additional assistance that may be beneficial.”
Improving quality of life
The palliative care physicians and advanced practice nurses from Sincera focus solely on patients who are seriously ill, but not ready for, or in need of, hospice care. Utilizing their specialized expertise in pain and symptom management, they help improve quality of life when the patient has:
• Side effects from treatment that are debilitating and difficult to manage;
• Repeated trips to the ER or is hospitalized due to uncontrolled pain or other symptoms;
• Several illnesses that, combined, make care needs more complex;
• A worsening condition and is confused or worried about the progress of the disease and treatment options;
• Difficulty maintaining comfort at home after being released from the hospital or a rehab facility;
• Emotional or spiritual concerns that are affecting overall wellbeing;
• Caregivers who are struggling to understand and manage the illness;
• Physical challenges that make it difficult to visit the physician’s office;
• Symptoms that require additional management while receiving skilled care in a nursing home;
• The need to discuss goals of care and what is important moving forward.
How to seek Sincera’s services
Though a physician referral is required before Sincera can visit, many questions about the program can be answered with a simple phone call to the Sincera office. Gin Borrusch, RN CHPN, will have a thorough conversation with each caller and can work with physicians to get a referral for Sincera’s services. Like any medical consultation, Sincera’s services are covered by Medicare Part B, Medicaid and most other health insurance plans.
To learn more, call 419-931-3440 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. or visit sinceracare.org. For additional resources on serious illness, visit toughquestionsstraightanswers.org.