ACC-Supported Cardiac Rehab Bill Reintroduced in House

Rep. Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) introduced the Increasing Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation Care Act of 2021 in the House this week. ACC has long supported passage of this legislation, which would accelerate and expand the ability of physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists to supervise cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) programs under Medicare. The bill expedites the effective date of these changes to Jan. 1, 2022, and also allows these practitioners to administer programs in their offices, prepare and sign treatment plans, and prescribe exercise.

"Cardiac rehabilitation is vital. Working with Congress, we have made great strides in recent years to increase patient access to this critical medical therapy by expanding use of the cardiovascular care team in prescribing and supervising cardiac rehab and pulmonary rehab services," said ACC's Health Affairs Committee Chair Samuel Jones IV, MD, MPH, FACC. "Every day in my practice I work with advanced practice providers who are routinely on the front line in critical care environments and who are highly trained and qualified to provide these safe, effective and vital services. Passage of this critical legislation will go a long way toward eliminating unnecessary obstacles and delays to this life changing – and life-saving therapy, especially in rural and underserved communities."

Read the full text of the bill.

Clinical Topics: Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease, Prevention, Exercise

Keywords: ACC Advocacy, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Nurse Clinicians, Medicare, Physician Assistants, Exercise, Nurse Practitioners


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