Providence Medford opens Cardiac Rehabilitation Center

June 03, 2013

Providence Medford Medical Center will hold an open house on Tuesday, June 25 from noon-2 p.m. for its newly opened cardiac rehabilitation center, located on the first floor of the hospital adjacent to physical therapy. 

Cardiac rehabilitation center medical director James Cook, M.D., explains what the cardiac rehabilitation program is all about, and why it’s important for patients:

Despite substantial morbidity and mortality benefits, cardiac rehabilitation, or CR, services are vastly underused. For example, CR is currently recommended for only 20 percent of eligible persons and referral rates are lower in women and the elderly, both of whom have been shown to benefit. CR is recommended in most contemporary cardiovascular clinical practice guidelines as well as in a number of clinical settings, including:

  • Post-MI or CABG
  • Following PCI (stent and angioplasty)
  • Heart or heart/lung transplantation recipients
  • Patients with stable angina or stable chronic HF
  • Peripheral arterial disease with claudication

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reimburse for many CR-related types of cardiovascular diseases, including an acute MI within the preceding 12 months; revascularization (CABG or PCI); current stable angina pectoris; or heart valve repair or replacement.
Despite the growing body of evidence, CMS does not reimburse for cardiac rehabilitation in patients with heart failure.

Attending all 36 sessions of rehabilitation that Medicare reimburses was associated with:

  • An 18 percent lower risk of death compared with attending 24 sessions
  • A 29 percent lower risk compared with attending 12 sessions
  • A 58 percent lower risk compared with attending one session

Participation in CR programs reduces all-cause mortality anywhere from 15 to 28 percent and cardiac morbidity from 26 to 31 percent. Moreover, CR boosts physical strength and endurance by 20 to 50 percent, an improvement that could determine whether a patient is able to return to an active life – a benefit not typically seen with other secondary prevention therapies.

The risk of CR is very low: one cardiac arrest for every 120,000 patient-hours of exercise and one death in every 750,000 patient-hours of exercise. Even those 65 years of age and older, as well as heart failure patients, typically respond well and can safely participate in regular exercise.

It is recommended that individuals at moderate or high risk for cardiac complications with exercise participate in a medically supervised program for at least eight to 12 weeks after an acute event, until the safety of the prescribed exercise regimen has been established.

Providence Medford Cardiac Rehabilitation Center is staffed by Jennifer Scott, exercise physiologist, and Philip Olson, RN.

Jennifer has worked in the health and fitness field for 20 years. The past nine years were spent in the clinical exercise field focusing specifically on the cardiac rehab population. She worked previously at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital as an exercise physiologist and at Silverton Hospital’s traditional cardiac rehab and the Dean Ornish Intensive Cardiac Rehab program. Jennifer has an M.A. in kinesiology with a certificate in gerontology.

Philip has been in the health care field for 20 years. He has been at Providence Medford for 12 years, working at the bedside on the telemetry unit and in ICU. His vast experience includes pulmonary and cardiac patients in the most critical of settings. He earned his CCRN credentials through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses in 2012.

The staff at Providence Medical Group-Cardiology, Southern Oregon, is happy to answer questions regarding appropriate referral for cardiac rehabilitation. Please call 541-732-7850.