Through financial incentives and an emphasis on proven health outcomes, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides opportunities to increase the availability of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs — including offering CR as part of worksite health programs (WHPs), according to an article in the August Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).
"Fuller integration and widespread implementation of WHP with CR should be a priority for both employers and health care providers, given the burden of cardiovascular disease and the proven track record of CR," notes author Sherry O. Pinkstaff, PhD, PT, of University of North Florida, Jacksonville, and colleagues.
The authors highlight the health and economic impact of cardiovascular disease, with many affected patients being of working age. While employers pay 80 times more in diagnosis than in prevention of cardiovascular disease, 50 to 70 percent of this disease is associated with preventable health risks.
More companies are offering WHPs as a means of improving worker productivity by improving worker health. While such programs are generally cost-saving, they are still not available to most workers. Research has consistently shown that cardiac rehabilitation is effective in reducing the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.