It might be the summer, but You're the Cure advocates are not taking a vacation just yet. We took the cause of increasing cardiac rehabilitation straight to Capitol Hill!
Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of women as well as men, and each year 935,000 Americans have a heart attack or other coronary event. The good news is that cardiac rehab (CR) is proven to reduce the likelihood of a second cardiac event. CR also reduces hospital readmissions, decreases health care costs, & improves the patients’ quality of life. But despite these clear benefits, only 12% of Medicare patients participate in CR programs.
Last Month, 16 You’re the Cure and Go Red for Women advocates came to Washington, DC and asked their lawmakers to change a key Medicare provision to allow physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists to supervise CR programs. With this change in place, hospitals and other entities would be better able to establish and maintain programs nationwide.
While here in Washington, DC, our advocates, who are survivors and medical professionals, participated in 31 meetings with legislators and staff on Capitol Hill to share their stories. They discussed the importance of why the cardiac rehab provision is essential to Medicare-related legislation.
In support of our advocates here in DC, more than 4,300 messages were delivered to Congress in response to an action alert authored by GRFW advocate Kathy Moore who was in Washington, DC to meet with her lawmakers. But, we still need your help.
Urge your lawmakers today to support bipartisan legislation that would allow physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists to supervise cardiac rehab programs and make cardiac rehab accessible to more Medicare patients.