Cardiac Rehabilitation is an exercise and education program for persons who have experienced a cardiac event. The program is designed to help people with cardiovascular disease feel confident that they can safely exercise and gradually return to their previous or an improved lifestyle.
There are three phases of cardiac rehabilitation:
- Phase I takes place while you are in the hospital after your heart event. It involves limited daily exercise with monitoring of heart rate and blood pressure. If you received care at another hospital after your event, you most likely received phase I at that hospital.
- Phase II is an outpatient exercise and education program offered at Mitchell County Regional Health Center beginning one to two weeks after your cardiac event
- Phase III is an ongoing maintenance exercise program for clients who have completed phase II cardiac rehabilitation. It is also offered at Mitchell County Regional Health Center.
Who is eligible for cardiac rehabilitation?
- Men and women of all ages can benefit from cardiac rehabilitation. You are eligible if you have had: Heart attack
- Bypass surgery/valve surgery
- Balloon procedure
- Stent placement
- Stable angina
- Heart transplant
What benefits will I receive from cardiac rehabilitation?
- Cardiac rehab will help you to: Feel better faster so that you can return to your previous activities
- Incorporate a regular exercise program into your daily routine
- Increase your strength and endurance
- Reduce risk for future heart problems
- Reduce stress
How do I participate?
- Quite often, the staff in the cardiac rehab department receives a referral from the hospital where you received your initial care following your event. If so, they will contact you by phone to visit with you about the phase II program and your interest in attending.
- If you are eligible for phase II cardiac rehabilitation and have not been contacted, you may call the department directly or visit with your physician about attending.
- Your family physician will sign a doctor’s order for you to participate and the cardiac rehab staff will contact you about your initial appointment. Sessions last approximately one hour and are held three times per week for 8-12 weeks.
What happens during my cardiac rehab sessions?
During phase II cardiac rehab a cardiac monitor will be in place during your sessions so that the cardiac rehab nurse can carefully watch your heart rate and any changes in your heart tracing while you are exercising. They will also check your blood pressure frequently during the session to make sure your blood pressure responds appropriately to exercise. The exercise time and intensity begins at a low level and is slowly increased throughout the program as your body becomes more conditioned.
Another important aspect of the phase II program is risk factor reduction through education about risk factors and lifestyle modification. Education sessions are held while you are exercising or after exercise during your cool down period. You are given the option to visit with a dietician during your time in cardiac rehab to better understand a heart healthy diet.
Cardiac Rehab nurses stay in close contact with your physician throughout your phase II program and relay any concerns or problems to them promptly.
During phase III, you are supervised but not monitored on the cardiac monitor. You will have access to the same equipment you used in the phase II program. You are responsible for monitoring your heart rate and recording your exercise each day you attend. The nurse is available to check your blood pressure or initiate further monitoring if problems occur. You should report any problems to the cardiac rehab nurse.
Will my insurance cover the cost of the program?
Cardiac Rehabilitation is a service provided and billed by Mitchell County Regional Health Center.
Medicare and most major medical insurance carriers will pay for a portion or the total cost of the program. Individuals should contact their health insurance company to determine coverage.
Phase III cardiac rehab is not covered by medicare or private insurance carriers. There is a small fee that you will be responsible for.
Where is Cardiac Rehabilitation held?
The cardiac rehabilitation department is a hospital-based program located at Mitchell County Regional Health Center. You can find the department by entering at the main hospital entrance and continue just inside the clinic entrance to the first door on the right. The phone number for the cardiac rehab department is 641-732-6081.