Certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), the Cardiac Rehabilitation (also known as cardiac rehab) program at Northeast Georgia Medical Center uses education, exercise and emotional support to support a patient after a cardiac event to the best possible recovery.
The program is comprised of progressive exercise and education for people who have experienced, or who are at high risk for, a heart attack, heart surgery or cardiac intervention such as angioplasty or stent placement.
Cardiac Rehab is divided into phases, with Phase I occurring during the patient's hospital stay and the other phases beginning after an individual has been discharged from the hospital, or any time upon a physician's referral. The phases are as follows:
Phase I occurs during a patient's hospital stay. Any patient admitted with a heart attack, coronary artery disease or pacemaker can be referred to cardiac rehab for individual teaching. All patients treated with a cardiac intervention or heart by-pass surgery will be seen by a Cardiac Rehab staff member. During Phase I, a Cardiac Rehab staff member provides one-on-one education for the patient regarding his or her disease state. Free education materials also are given to the patient.
Phase II begins after an individual has been discharged from the hospital or any time upon a physician's referral. In Phase II, patients exercise three times per week following individualized programs during which the Cardiac Rehab staff continuously monitors patients' heart rates and rhythms. This phase is usually 10 to 12 weeks based on individual needs and progress.
Patients who have completed Phase II, or meet the entry criteria, may be referred to Phase III. This phase consists of a variety of exercises, step aerobics and strength training. Phase III participants exercise under the close supervision of cardiac rehab staff, who are available for advice, counseling and intervention.
The cost of Phase I is offered free of charge. Many health insurance plans will reimburse much of the cost of the Phase II program. The Cardiac Rehab staff and the Financial Counseling Department, together with the patient, will check with the insurance company prior to participation to determine the extent of coverage. Phase III patients are charged $49 per month. Typically, this charge is not covered by insurance plans.
Who is a Candidate for Cardiac Rehab?
Anyone with a history of heart disease is a prime candidate for the Cardiac Rehabilitation program. Examples of people who could benefit are those who have had: a heart attack angioplasty, stent placement or other cardiac interventional procedure angina pectoris (chest pain) coronary bypass surgery heart valve replacement cardiomyopathy congestive heart failure a heart transplant.
Have questions or need more information? Fill out a contact form, or call Heart & Vascular Services at or 770-219-8290.