Youve had a heart attack or some type of cardiac surgery. What should your next step be? For most patients, the answer is a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program. But only a small percentage of cardiac patients actually participate in CR. Among Medicare beneficiaries age 65 or older who have had a heart attack or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), fewer than 20 percent were in a CR program, according to a study in the Oct. 9 issue of Circulation, the American Heart Association journal. "We have documented benefits from CR equivalent to any other medication management treatment thats out there. It provides a longevity benefit, as well as a quality benefit," says Gordon Blackburn, PhD, program director of the Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Program at Cleveland Clinic.