Temporal Trends and Factors Associated With Cardiac Rehabilitation Participation Among Medicare Beneficiaries With Heart Failure

Ambarish Pandey, Neil Keshvani, Lin Zhong, Robert J. Mentz, Ileana L. Piña, Adam D. DeVore, Clyde Yancy, Dalane W. Kitzman, Gregg C. Fonarow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess temporal trends and factors associated with cardiac rehabilitation (CR) enrollment and participation among Medicare beneficiaries after the 2014 Medicare coverage expansion. Background: CR improves exercise capacity, quality of life, and clinical outcomes in heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). In 2014, Medicare coverage for CR was expanded to include chronic HFrEF. Methods: Among Medicare beneficiaries from quarter (Q) 1 2014 to Q2 2016, 11,696 patients from 14,258 hospitalizations with primary discharge diagnosis of HF were identified. Patients with HF with preserved ejection fraction were excluded. Quarterly CR participation rates among hospitalized HF patients within 6 months of discharge were identified through outpatient administrative claims. The predictors of CR participation were assessed with the use of a multivariable logistic regression model that included patient- and hospital-level characteristics. A secondary analysis to assess participation rates of CR after outpatient encounters for HF was performed. Results: Overall, only 611 (4.3%) and 349 (2.2%) eligible patients participated CR after primary hospitalization or outpatient visit for HF, respectively. There was a modest, statistically significant increase in CR participation after HF admissions (2.8% in Q1 2014; 5.0% in Q2 2016; p < 0.001) without significant increase after outpatient visits for HF (2.6% to 3.8%; p = 0.21). Younger age, male sex, nonblack race, previous cardiovascular procedures, and hospitalization at hospitals with available CR facilities were all independently associated with CR participation. Conclusions: CR participation among eligible Medicare beneficiaries with HFrEF was low with minimal increase since 2014 Medicare coverage decision. Sex, race, and institution-dependent variables were independent predictors of CR participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-481
Number of pages11
JournalJACC: Heart Failure
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Medicare
  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • exercise training
  • health care utilization
  • heart failure
  • predictors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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