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Cardiac Rehab FAQ in Buffalo, NY

Q: Who should be participating in a cardiac rehab program?

A: Cardiac rehabilitation is a Class I recommendation (highest recommendation) by the American College of Cardiology for individuals who have or have had a heart attack, stent, bypass surgery, angina, and/or heart failure. Cardiac rehab is also a Class I recommendation for cardiovascular protection in women. Any individual looking to recover from or prevent heart disease can benefit from participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program.

Q: Does insurance cover cardiac rehabilitation?

A: Our cardiac rehab program is covered by Medicare, Medicare Advantage, most commercial insurers like BCBS of WNY, Independent Health, Aetna, United, AARP, Empire Plan, and Excellus. If you have questions about insurance coverage and rates, please call our office or inquire online, one of our staff members will be able to help you navigate insurance coverage for our services.

Q: Is it safe to exercise with heart disease?

A: Absolutely, in fact, it’s encouraged! While extra precautions must be taken to ensure safety, exercise is one of the best things you can do for heart health. At Sterling Heart Care, the safety of our patients is top priority. This is why we always have a physician present in our office during cardiac rehab sessions. We also track vital signs and monitor our patients’ hearts with EKG telemetry during exercise sessions. In addition, we have a certified paramedic on staff and a fully stocked emergency cart on site.

Q: Do I really need to do cardiac rehab, can’t I just go exercise at a gym or at home?

A: While we certainly encourage patients to exercise at a gym or at home, we find that this is best adopted after participation in cardiac rehab. By participating in cardiac rehab, patients can gradually acclimate to exercise and be confident in pushing their limits, knowing that they are being monitored and supervised by a clinical staff. Patients participating in cardiac rehab also get a scientifically formulated exercise plan to make sure they are completing appropriate workloads and durations. Upon graduation from cardiac rehab, patients will be given updated exercise plans so that they can continue their progress in the setting of their choice.

Q: Is it important to do the education part, can’t I just do the exercise?

A: The education component of our program is crucial to our patients’ success in achieving their health goals. While exercise is a core component of our program, the education on nutrition and mind/body is just as vital. The skills and knowledge patients gain in our education sessions help to ensure that they are not wasting the hard work done exercising with poor nutrition or high levels of stress. The education sessions promote lifelong skills that everyone needs to ensure they are tackling heart health on all fronts.

Q: Can my diet really have a significant impact on my heart health?

A: Absolutely! We can’t stress enough that nutrition is one of the most impactful remedies for cardiovascular and overall health. We offer proven nutrition approaches that can be used to recover from, prevent, and even reverse heart disease.

Q: Do I need a referral for cardiac rehab at Sterling Heart Care?

A: You do not need a referral for our cardiac rehab program. Once a patient contacts our office about enrolling, we will reach out to their healthcare team, including their Primary Care physician and regular Cardiologist, to inform them of your participation. We also send periodic updates to referring physicians and healthcare teams to keep everyone on the same page regarding a patient’s progress.

Q: How long and how many days per week would I participate in cardiac rehab?

A: Our cardiac rehab is a 12 week program during which patients visit our office three time each week. We offer Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes as well as Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday classes. Don’t worry if you have to miss a day or two. We understand that it sometimes difficult to schedule around a three day per week program, so if you have to miss a day, we can schedule you to make up that day on the tail end of your scheduled sessions.

Q: What if I have not had a serious cardiac event like the ones mentioned above, but I want to avoid one in the future, can I participate in cardiac rehab?

A: First, we applaud anyone looking to take a proactive approach to heart health. Unfortunately, we often find that insurance will not cover our cardiac rehab program for individuals who do not have advanced heart disease. To still accommodate those who want to be proactive, but can’t get insurance coverage for our services, we have more cost effective self-pay options available. Please contact our office to learn more about these services.