Cardiac rehab coverage expanded.
Medicare is proposing to expand national coverage for cardiac
rehabilitation services to three additional groups of beneficiaries:
those who have had heart valve repair or replacement, percutaneous
transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), and heart or combined
heart-lung transplant. "With this proposed coverage decision, [the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] seeks to expand coverage to
a greater number of beneficiaries with cardiac illness," said
Administrator Dr. Mark B. McClellan. "But just as importantly, we
hope that our proposed decision will raise the public's awareness
regarding cardiac rehabilitation services in general." The agency
further proposed that cardiac rehabilitation services be comprehensive
and include medical evaluation, education, and nutrition services.
Medicare has covered cardiac rehabilitation services for beneficiaries
following heart attack, coronary artery bypass surgery, and angina since
the 1980s and this coverage will continue. A comment period on the
proposed decision ended Jan. 23. CMS plans to issue a final decision
within 60 days of the close of the comment period.