Cardiac Rehab Saves Lives
Physical activity plays an important role in good health--even for most heart patients. In a cardiac rehab program, a medical team can teach patients how to exercise, monitor their medications, provide nutritional counseling, and offer other advice after heart attack or heart surgery.
While years of research support the benefits of cardiac rehab, it’s estimated that fewer than a third of eligible patients enter a program, even when rehab is recommended by their physician. Most insurance plans cover cardiac rehab for heart patients, but many require a co-pay. At 2 or 3 sessions a week, for several weeks, costs--in money, as well as time--can add up fast.
In addition, there aren’t enough cardiac rehab facilities in the U.S. to accommodate the numbers of patients who are eligible. Since cardiac rehab can reduce hospital re-admission rates for heart patients significantly, the hope is that more programs will be started now that the Affordable Care Act penalizes hospitals with high rates of re-admission.
Image Credit: Thinkstock