Features July 2011 Issue

Cardiac Rehabilitation Remains Underprescribed Treatment Plan

With its life-saving benefits verified, the question is “why?”

Patients with heart disease who complete a full course of cardiac rehabilitation are nearly half as likely to die and about one-third less likely to have a heart attack than patients who do not attend cardiac rehabilitation. Yet up to 80 percent of patients never receive a prescription for cardiac rehab upon discharge from the hospital. The extraordinary value of cardiac rehabilitation in preventing heart attack and death has been verified. In December 2009, the journal Circulation published an analysis of 30,000 Medicare patients who had attended at least one cardiac rehab session.

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