Underutilization of Cardiac Rehabilitation
The three components of CR work in concert to provide patients with a variety of benefits. Structured exercise improves cardiovascular health, reduces risk factors and symptoms, and improves mood. Education and skill-building enable patients to manage their conditions and make lifestyle changes that enhance heart health. Counseling helps patients reduce stress and address psychosocial factors that impact their health. These improvements in patient outcomes also benefit hospitals.
Every year, over 1 million Americans have a coronary event or undergo a cardiac-related procedure that qualifies them for CR. Specific candidates for CR include:
Many insurers, including Medicare, cover cardiac rehabilitation for these classes of patients, but there may be out-of-pocket costs.
Ades PA, Keteyian SJ, Wright JS, Hamm LF, Lui K, Newlin K, Shepard DS, Thomas RJ. Increasing cardiac rehabilitation participation from 20% to 70%: a road map from the Million Hearts Rehabilitation Collaborative. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2017 Feb;92(2):234. https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(16)30648-6/pdf.
Wall HK, Stolp H, Lucido B, Graff K. Cardiac Rehabilitation Change Package: A Million Hearts Action Guide. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; July 2018. https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/files/Cardiac_Rehab_Change_Pkg.pdf.
Mayo Clinic. Cardiac Rehabilitation: Overview. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cardiac-rehabilitation/about/pac-20385192. Accessed November 12, 2019.
American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Cardiac Rehabilitation: Putting More Patients on the Road to Recovery. https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/ahaecc-public/@wcm/@adv/documents/downloadable/ucm_473083.pdf.