Dr Joyce introduces bill making in-home cardiac & pulmonary rehab billable under Medicare

08 March 2023- Today, Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13), and Congressman Scott Peters (CA-50) introduced the Sustainable Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Services in the Home Act, which would permanently allow patients to continue receiving in-home cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services under Medicare.

“As a doctor, fighting for health patient outcomes has always been one of my top priorities in Congress,” said Congressman Joyce. “The bottom line is that this bill will help ensure that cardiac and pulmonary-care patients recover and rehabilitate from the comfort and safety of their home while still receiving top-of-the-line medical care.”

“The Sustainable Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Services in the Home Act will help us apply the lessons we learned during COVID-19,” Congressman Peters said. “This legislation will help seniors recover from major cardiac or pulmonary events at home, and expand access to telehealth care for those who might otherwise struggle to reach a provider. We must continue working on solutions so Americans aren’t obligated to forego medical care or pay for burdensome hospital stays.”

During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) temporarily allowed certain cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs to be reimbursed for services provided or supervised virtually in a patient’s home.

This temporary waiver increased access to proven and effective treatments for heart disease and has actively improved the lives of patients who are recovering from home. This legislation would safeguard that care through the end of the current waiver period and take steps to ensure that all eligible patients have access to necessary cardiac rehabilitation programs.

These programs are a critical tool in treating patients who have suffered a cardiac incident and have been shown to reduce hospital readmission and increase life expectancy.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death and a growing problem across the country, and it is now estimated that nearly 40% of Americans will have developed heart disease by 2030. This legislation will enable more seniors to access lifesaving programs to address this disease. Medicare currently covers Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation as they are proven and effective treatments.  Both CMS and the CDC’s goal of enrolling 70% of eligible patients in cardiac rehabilitation programs can be more easily achieved if providers are also allowed to offer home-based programs in addition to those offered already. Cardiac rehab has been shown to reduce hospital readmissions and increase life expectancy in patients.