Take Action on the Increasing Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation Care Act of 2021

News | Published: Thursday, April 1, 2021 9:00 am


The Increasing Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation Care Act of 2021 was recently introduced in the House by Reps. Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Adrian Smith (R-NE). This bipartisan legislation would expand patient access to critical cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation services (CR/PR) during a crucial time when treatments for medical conditions have been delayed or avoided during the COVID-19 pandemic. MedAxiom and the ACC have long supported passage of this legislation, which would accelerate and expand the ability of physician assistants (PAs), nurse practitioners (NPs) and clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) to supervise CR programs under Medicare. The bill expedites the effective date of these changes to Jan. 1, 2022, and allows these practitioners to administer programs in their offices, prepare and sign treatment plans, and prescribe exercise.

Take action! Please ask your Member of Congress to cosponsor the Increasing Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation Care Act of 2021.

There is no better time than immediately following Heart Month to advocate for policies that will help achieve MedAxiom and ACC's joint mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health.

Each year, roughly 935,000 Americans will have a heart attack, and more than 30% will experience a secondary life-threatening cardiovascular event. CR is a medically supervised program that includes exercise training, education on heart healthy living and counseling. For patients with cardiovascular disease, these programs are proven to reduce the risk of a future cardiac event, reduce all-cause mortality by 25%, decrease hospitalizations and the use of medical resources, and improve health-related quality of life.

This bill would:

  • Authorize advanced practice providers (APPs), including PAs, NPs and CNSs, to begin ordering and supervising patients’ day-to-day CR and PR care in 2022. These providers are already able to supervise these services beginning in 2024 – this legislation moves that date up.
  • Eliminate obstacles, delays and unnecessary paperwork that can prevent patients from beginning rehabilitation services that are needed on a timely basis.
  • Take important steps to increase access to critical CR services, particularly in rural and underserved communities.

Take Action Here.

MedAxiom is dedicated to propelling APPs forward and ensuring they work to the top of their licensure. Explore the new APP Hub for resources to advance the care team.