In less than two weeks, 15 You’re the Cure advocates will be in Washington, D.C. urging their lawmakers to increase access to cardiac rehabilitation (CR) services. These volunteers will ask our elected officials to change a law to allow more survivors to receive the vital rehab they need to get back on their feet after a heart attack.
But they need your backing to make even more of a difference. Will you email your legislators about the cardiac rehab bill?
We know far too many heart survivors are not receiving the vital rehabilitation they need, only about 30% of all eligible Medicare recipients. One of the reason is because currently a doctor must supervise these sessions, when a nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant or clinical nurse is more than capable. That requirement can limit the availability of CR and increase its costs. Allowing other staff to oversee these sessions will increase access to more Americans!
Our advocates will be making this case in just a few weeks, but we’d love for you to urge Congress now. Will you email your lawmakers today?
Need a refresher about cardiac rehab? Here are the basics!
What is cardiac rehab? Cardiac rehab is a medically supervised program consisting of exercise training, education on heart-healthy living, and counseling to reduce stress -- all of which can help patients return to an active lifestyle and recover more quickly.
CR reduces hospital readmission, decreases health care costs, and improves the patients’ quality of life. But despite these clear benefits, only 12% of Medicare patients participate in CR programs.
Why is that?
One reason is currently there is a Medicare provision that only allows a physician to supervisor CR sessions. In some areas, that doctor-only requirement can really limit the number of patients that can receive CR, and increase its costs.
We think allowing physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists to supervise CR programs will increase access to more Americans. Patients will still receive the rehab they need under medical supervision. Also, with this change in place, hospitals and other entities would be better able to establish and maintain programs nationwide.
In just a few weeks, You’re the Cure advocates will be in Washington, DC to advocate for this new policy. Urge your lawmakers to support this policy today!