FAQs about Cardiac Rehabilitation

What is cardiac rehabilitation?

An educational and exercise program for patients recovering from heart disease
and /or surgery, supervised by a physician and cardiac nurse, designed to specifically help heart patients achieve a better and longer life.

Who should consider cardiac rehabilitation?

Anyone having or recovering from:

  • Heart discomfort (angina)
  • Heart attack
  • Heart bypass surgery
  • Heart balloon procedure (angioplasty) or stent
  • Heart valve surgery
  • Heart transplant

Talk to your physician about cardiac rehabilitation if you have had one or more of the above.

How will I benefit from cardiac rehabilitation?


You will develop a sense of well being and self-confidence, and you will form new friendships as you and other cardiac patients work to improve your health. Participation in the program will give you the added support and encouragement you and your family need as you learn about modifying your lifestyle. You might also choose to participate in the Healthy Hearts Support Group.


Practiced over a period of time, exercise may lower your heart rate and blood pressure, increase your endurance and improve your muscle tone. Participation in the program will help you safely resume most, if not all, of your usual activities at home.


Our team will identify your cardiac risk factors, and will teach you how to control them. You will also learn about your medicines and will receive answers to questions you have about your heart condition and treatment.

What does cardiac rehabilitation involve?

Once you have made the decision that you would like to participate in the program and have received your physician's approval, a specially trained cardiac rehabilitation nurse will interview you to identify your goals, needs and questions.

With the supervision and guidance of the cardiac rehabilitation nurse, a monitored exercise program will be established to meet your needs. Cardiac rehabilitation nurses are specially trained to monitor your body and heart's response to exercise. In most cases, initial low-level exercise sessions will be conducted twice a week.

After a few low-level visits, your doctor and your cardiac rehabilitation nurse will determine if you can progress to higher level exercise three times per week. Each session is usually one hour in length, and the program is six to12 weeks long.

Individual and group education sessions are available to you and your family. Emphasis is on changing to a healthier style of living. A safe, home exercise program will be developed for you to follow upon discharge.

The cardiac rehabilitation staff and other patients will make your sessions both productive and pleasant.

Is this covered by my insurance?

Most insurance programs provide coverage for approximately 80 percent of the fees for cardiac rehabilitation. Some co-insurance may apply for the remaining balance. Cardiac rehabilitation coverage will be verified by the hospital and discussed with you and your family prior to your entrance into the program, if you desire.

How do I enroll in cardiac rehabilitation?

Discuss your interest in rehabilitation with your physician. If you or your physician feel the program will benefit you, contact WellSpan Cardiac Rehabilitation, and our staff will be happy to discuss our program.

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