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  • CMS Says Cardiac Rehab Should Be Covered for CHF

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing that Medicare coverage be expanded to cover cardiac rehabilitation (CR) for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF).

    The proposed CMS decision memo issued November 21 outlines the process that the agency took to research outcomes around CR. Counter to its 2009 finding that "there was little evidence in the existing literature that supported CR," the latest review conducted by CMS definitively concludes that "exercise intervention is beneficial and can be safely performed by selected patients with CHF."

    APTA submitted comments that supported access to rehabilitation for CHF patients, but advocated that physical therapy be made available outside the CR program and covered under the existing Medicare outpatient therapy benefit. This allowance would ensure that patients with CHF "have access to the most clinically effective rehabilitation services at the appropriate time, in the appropriate setting, and by the most appropriate provider," according to the APTA comments.

    CMS is accepting public comments on the proposed decision memo until December 21, 2013. APTA plans to submit additional comments on the proposal.


    • In particular, patients with CHF and other co-morbidities require the monitored progression and individualized intensity that will be available in a cardiac rehabilitation program. Available at Kingsbrook Jewish Rehabilitation Institute in Broolkyn.

      Posted by Carol Wilson-Smith on 11/27/2013 10:43 AM

    • I work directly with CHF patients on a daily basis. We are delighted that many of these patients will get the needed care, exercise/ continued education after leaving the hospital. A win / win in that the patients get the needed follow up care with Outpatient Cardiac Rehab now a viable option. The hospitals will have fewer readmissions and this will certainly help reduce this "CHF revolving door" issue from an Inpatient standpoint.

      Posted by John Perrine on 12/2/2013 6:00 PM

    • This would be such a great benefit for the CHF pt who end up admitted over and over again. We could help them monitor their condition, reinforce their education and benefit them all the way around. This would be wonderful for our pt population.

      Posted by Lisa Shepard on 12/9/2013 3:41 PM

    • It is pathetic cardiac rehab is not being utilised as often as it should be for the appropriate indications.Indication for selected CHF patients will definitely help a large number of patients at risk for readmission

      Posted by M.Ganesa Pandian,MD on 2/28/2014 2:46 PM

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