Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Heart Failure Patient Services

Heart failure is now a covered diagnosis for cardiac rehabilitation. A series of six weekly, 30-minute group education sessions has been added to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at the Center for Cardiac Fitness to better serve patients who have heart failure.

A cardiologist leads sessions that cover topics such as symptom management, sodium restriction, exercise intolerance, and medication compliance. Heart failure patients and their caregivers also attend specialized consultations with staff nutritionists, behavioral psychologists and pharmacists.

Cardiac rehabilitation is covered by Medicare for systolic heart failure patients with an ejection fraction of less than 35 percent, and can begin a minimum of six weeks after the most recent hospitalization. Non-qualifying patients will be recommended for other program services.

Our patients wish to better understand heart disease and learn how to live with it.

If you’ve encountered a serious heart problem, you likely have experienced a kaleidoscope of feelings: fear, anger, worry, sadness, doubt. You may be relieved that the problem was detected in time, yet overwhelmed by the lifestyle changes necessary to protect your heart against future damage.

Our goal is to provide the optimal balance of exercise, nutrition information, stress management, education, and individual support services that will help you adopt heart-healthy habits that will benefit you daily.

How the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Works

Our 12-week program begins with a review of your cardiac history, current health status and physical limitations, and a stress test.

We ask about your personal goals for attaining optimal health and cardiac fitness so we can shape a regimen that will help you incorporate heart-healthy habits into your daily life.

Two-hour sessions three times a week – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – comprise exercise, counseling and education. Stationary cycling, treadmill walking, recumbent stair-climbing and rowing are part of the exercise routine. We also offer resistance training, nutrition education, stress management and pharmacy services.

Plans are reevaluated every 30 days and shared with your cardiologist.

Our Team

Cardiologists, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, pharmacists, behavioral health psychologists and registered nurses focus their expertise on improving your health and lifestyle.

How Does Cardiac Rehabilitation Help?

Clinical studies show significant benefits to individuals who undertake a medically supervised program for maintaining cardiac health. These include:

  • Improved survival rates
  • Reduced risk of hospitalization for heart disease
  • Improved quality of life
  • Greater strength and endurance
  • Reduction of blood cholesterol levels
  • Diminished stress
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem

Who Is Eligible?

If you've been diagnosed with or recently experienced any of the following, and you have a physician's referral, you are eligible for cardiac rehabilitation.

  • Angina
  • Angioplasty/stent
  • Heart failure or left ventricular assist device (LVAD)
  • Heart attack
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • Heart transplant surgery
  • Heart bypass surgery

Rehabilitation graduates and those at risk for heart disease are eligible for participation in the prevention programs.

Most insurance plans cover cardiac rehabilitation for 12 weeks if you have a qualifying diagnosis. To avoid unexpected medical expenses or copays, please contact your insurance carrier before enrolling to confirm coverage and inquire about costs.

Cardiopulmonary Maintenance Program

In the program, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation graduates continue to practice and expand their healthier lifestyles. Others, who are at increased risk of heart disease but have not experienced a cardiac episode, or who have been diagnosed with pulmonary disease, enroll to learn healthy living practices. The programs begin with a health assessment and goals for maintaining or improving your health. We then design a personalized program to be undertaken with medical supervision to help you achieve greater independence.

Unique aspects of our rehabilitation, maintenance and prevention programs include:

  • Cardiac yoga classes
  • Resistance training workshops
  • Cooking demonstrations, food shopping excursions, and heart-healthy food festivals
  • Family nights
  • Cardiac risk reduction programs
  • Support groups
  • Respiratory, nutritional, behavioral and medication consultations

Learn about lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease »