Recovering your health and reducing your risk of future heart problems

Ohio State’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program guides you and your family through recovery after a heart-related event. Research has shown that cardiac rehabilitation significantly reduces your risk of heart problems happening again. It also helps you regain your independence.

While the core of cardiac rehabilitation is exercise, the program also targets nutrition and diet, weight, management of cholesterol and triglycerides, blood pressure, diabetes and stress. The program is provided during your initial hospital stay and on an outpatient basis after your return home. Cardiac rehabilitation has recently been approved for coverage by Medicare.

Your cardiac rehab team understands that it can be difficult returning to an active life after being hospitalized for and living with a chronic heart problem. We offer classes, individualized counseling and plenty of encouragement to help you on your journey. Cardiac rehabilitation is a positive environment to learn, try new health behaviors, have fun and get better.

Ohio State’s team of nationally recognized experts is dedicated to caring for people of all ages who have recently experienced:


About Our Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Ohio State offers Phase 1, Phase 2 and Maintenance cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Phase 1: This component of cardiac rehabilitation occurs during your hospital stay. A cardiac rehabilitation team member provides education and information to ease the transition from hospital to home.

Phase 2: Phase 2 begins after your hospital discharge. It includes exercise supervised and monitored by cardiac nurses and exercise physiologists, in-depth education about heart disease risk factors and counseling on lifestyle changes.

After a rehabilitation evaluation, which may include an exercise stress test, you begin a personalized exercise and education program. You may attend up to 36 sessions depending on your insurance coverage.

Fitness Maintenance Program: Once you have completed Phase 2 cardiac rehabilitation, you may enter a Fitness Maintenance Program. This is an ongoing program that helps you maintain an exercise routine and offers continued staff and peer support.


Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Research studies have shown that people who participate in cardiac rehabilitation programs experience:

  • Reduction in the likelihood of future heart attacks and other heart-related events
  • Lower risk of death from heart-related conditions
  • Faster return to work and/or normal activities of daily living
  • Improved quality of life and sense of well-being
  • Reduction of fear or anxiety related to heart condition
  • Improved cardiovascular function
  • Improved fitness level
  • Improved healthy eating habits
  • Increased muscle tone, stamina and activity tolerance

Education is Key

Education is an important part of your rehabilitation. You and your family will learn about heart conditions, lifestyle management and prevention strategies. Educational sessions include:

  • Nutrition and weight management
  • Diabetes management
  • Cholesterol and blood pressure treatment
  • Medications
  • Stress management
  • Cardiovascular and muscle fitness
  • Smoking cessation
  • Other factors that contribute to heart disease

Eligibility and Insurance

A physician referral is required to enroll in the Phase 2 cardiac rehabilitation program. The Maintenance program is open to anyone and may need physician approval.

Many medical insurance policies, including Medicare, cover Phase 2 cardiac rehabilitation. However, there will be variation on the number of sessions allowed based on your benefits. You should consult with your health insurance carrier or company benefits administrator for an explanation of Phase 2 coverage.

Please note that our Fitness Maintenance Program is not recognized as a covered benefit for Medicare or private insurance carriers.

Your Ohio State Cardiac Rehab Team

Ohio State’s cardiac rehabilitation team is composed of nationally recognized experts who are dedicated to caring for people with heart problems. As part of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, the cardiac rehabilitation team has access to the latest in cardiac rehabilitation treatments, therapies, innovation and research.

Your personal case manager will guide your rehabilitative process and develop a program designed to meet your unique needs and goals. We will consider your medical history, stress test results and responses to health questionnaires to create your specific, personally achievable goals and targets.

Your multidisciplinary cardiac rehabilitation team will consist of:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Dietitians
  • Pharmacists
  • Behavioral medicine specialists

Our Leaders

Our leaders

Martha Gulati, MD

Martha Gulati, MD, MS, FACC, FAHA

Director, Preventive Cardiology and Women's Cardiovascular Health

Dr. Gulati is an associate professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Ohio State as well as the Sarah Ross Soter Chair in Women’s Cardiovascular Health. Dr. Gulati is the principal or co-investigator on several studies examining women’s heart health, fitness and prevention. Dr. Gulati is a co-author of the 2007 guidelines of the American Heart Association for heart disease prevention in women. She has also published numerous articles in peer-reviewed publications and serves as a reviewer for several medical journals.

John Larry

John Larry, MD

Medical Director, Cardiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation, University Hospital East

Dr. Larry is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Ohio State. Dr. Larry has published numerous abstracts and peer-reviewed journal articles. He is a member of multiple professional societies, including the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the American Society for Echocardiography. Dr. Larry was named one of America’s Best Doctors in 2009. He was also honored in Madison’s Who’s Who in Health Care Professionals in 2009. Dr. Larry’s clinical interests include prevention of cardiac disease, cardiac rehabilitation and echocardiography.

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