Cardiac Rehabilitation: Getting Hearts Back to Health


At Baptist Health System, we understand that heart care doesn’t end when you leave our hospital. That’s why in addition to diagnosing and treating a wide variety of cardiovascular conditions, we offer dedicated heart and vascular rehabilitation services through our cardiac rehabilitation Phase 2 program. This unique multiphase program is designed for people who have a heart condition, including those patients who are:

  • Recovering from a heart attack
  • Recovering from a coronary bypass, angioplasty or stent procedure
  • Recovering from valve surgery
  • Suffering from angina or heart failure


What is Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehabilitation, also known as cardiac rehab, may not be able to undo your past, but it may help improve your heart health’s future. This medically supervised program aims to help patients who experienced a cardiac event and/or a heart-related procedure to return to a healthy and a more positive life.

Cardiac rehab may help increase a person’s fitness level, reduce a patient’s need for medication and may also help reduce your chances of going back to the hospital for post-surgery complications or another heart problem.

What Happens in Cardiac Rehab?

During a cardiac rehab session, healthcare professionals guide patients in adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle through counseling, stress reduction, cardiac rehab exercises and health education. This recovery program usually begins in the intensive care unit (ICU). However, the level of rehabilitation and the strategies that healthcare professionals may include in the program depends on each patient’s heart condition or health complications.

Four Phases of Cardiac Rehab

Recovering from a cardiac event or procedure takes time it’s progressive, which is also why cardiac rehabilitation has four phases.

  1. Phase 1 – is the period wherein the patient stays in the hospital after a cardiac event or procedure to recover.
  2. Phase 2 – is the period wherein the patient returns home and prepares to become a part of an outpatient recovery program which combines exercise sessions, counseling, education and more.
  3. Phase 3 – is considered the extension of Phase 2. It’s when health professionals help patients keep a healthier lifestyle through consistent health education and hosting supervised exercise sessions regularly.
  4. Phase 4 – is considered the maintenance phase wherein the patient is encouraged to continue the healthy habits they have started in Phases 1 to 3. During this phase, the patient’s primary care team continuously monitors the clinical condition, medication and risk factors of the patient.

Our Comprehensive Phase 2 Cardiac Rehab Program

Our cardiac rehabilitation Phase 2 program includes outpatient rehab services that use regular exercise and education to help patients reduce their risks for another cardiac event and prevent complications after a cardiac procedure. We customize our comprehensive step-by-step program based on each patient’s specific needs. In this program, patients will be invited for exercise sessions and lectures, up to three times a week, for 36 visits. The program will be supervised by a cardiologist and a nurse with strong cardiac clinical skills.

Enrolling in our Cardiac Rehab Program

This program usually begins one to four weeks after the patient has been discharged from the hospital, upon his/her doctor’s referral. If you’re planning to join this program, our cardiac rehab team will review your medical history before you start your sessions. They may request a physical exam, cardiac imaging test, electrocardiogram (ECG), stationary bike or treadmill exercise test or cholesterol and/or blood sugar checks.

Here’s more of what you can expect to get from the comprehensive Phase 2 cardiac rehab program at Baptist Health System:

  • Instruction and supervision on exercise equipment, including treadmills, stationary bikes and recumbent ellipticals
  • Exercising in a group setting to give you the social support and encouragement you need to succeed
  • Progress reports sent on a regular basis to your doctor
  • Risk-factor counseling and education, including smoking cessation, cholesterol and blood pressure control
  • Diabetes, weight and stress management techniques
  • Nutritional assessment and counseling on an as-needed basis
  • Education as well as individualized sessions for you and your family


Our Compassionate Cardiac Rehab Team

Patients who join our Phase 2 cardiac rehab program can expect excellent care. This program is organized and executed by our team of experienced and compassionate healthcare professionals and staff, such as our:

  • Cardiologists
  • Clerical Administrative Staff
  • Clinical Nutritionists/Dietitians
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychologists
  • Smoking Cessation Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Vocational Counselors

Of course, having a supportive family, friends and loved ones can also play a crucial role in your recovery.

Who Is Eligible for Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab is an ideal treatment and recovery program for individuals who have gone through a cardiac event, such as a heart attack. It’s also recommended for patients who have gone through angioplasty, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, valve replacement, implantation of a cardiac defibrillator and coronary revascularization, as well as those who are suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD) and new or worsening angina or heart failure.

Will My Insurance Cover Cardiac Rehab?

Medicare, which generally sets the standard for reimbursement, may cover cardiac rehab programs if you have experienced any of the following:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart attack within a calendar year of the start of cardiac rehab
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Stable angina
  • Angioplasty or stent in a coronary artery
  • Heart transplant or heart lung transplant

Some insurance providers exclude the coverage of a cardiac rehab after procedures that implant a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Please speak with your primary care team and your insurance provider to confirm whether the kind of cardiac rehab you may need is covered by your insurance plan or not.

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