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Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation

Improving how a patient moves through each stage of care can dramatically improve outcomes.

As the number one and number five killers in America, heart disease and stroke can also present daunting challenges for those who survive these life-threatening diseases. Patients can often face a long and challenging road to recovery. Luckily, there are several policy solutions that can make this rehab easier. The AHA/ASA supports:

Expanding Cardiac Rehabilitation Services
Cardiac rehabilitation is an essential Medicare benefit that reduces mortality, hospitalizations, and use of medical resources while improving the quality of life following a cardiac event. However, in order be covered under Medicare, programs must have a medical doctor who ensures programs are safe and medically appropriate for patients. Unfortunately, this requirement creates an unintended roadblock to cardiac rehab services by placing a more stringent staffing requirement on these services than it does for similar outpatient services.

In 2018, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act which included language that would increase access to medically directed, life-saving cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs. Unfortunately, for budgetary reasons they can’t increase access until 2024 and people suffering from heart disease can’t wait that long for treatment!

Patients who complete a cardiac rehabilitation program have a 26% lower risk of dying of a heart disease related death than those that don’t. That’s why it’s imperative that you contact your Representative and encourage them to cosponsor the Increasing Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation Care Act of 2019 (H.R. 3911). This bill would move the date up to 2020 giving people a 4 year head start on the life-saving treatment they need!

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