Information on cardiac rehabilitation for seniors

Cardiac rehab and seniors
The American Assn. of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation reports that:
• There are an estimated 2,500 cardiac rehabilitation programs across the country.
• About 1,000 programs have received professional certification.
• Programs typically provide an individualized exercise plan and education and counseling about diet, risk reduction and disease management.
Medicare will pay for 36 sessions for eligible seniors. It does not pay for cardiac rehabilitation for patients who have congestive heart failure.
• Home-based cardiac rehabilitation programs are an alternative in some parts of the country, but Medicare and private insurance won't cover these services.
By the numbers
A June 2009 study of more than 600,000 Medicare patients in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found:
• 21% to 34%: Five-year survival rate of patients who commit to cardiac rehabilitation programs
• 18%: Number of older adults who began cardiac rehabilitation who took full advantage of its potential by attending 36 sessions.
—Judith Graham

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