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Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs

Medicare established coverage provisions for Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) programs. The regulation at 42 CFR 410.49 includes coverage provisions for CR and PR items and services, physician standards and limitations to the sessions that may be covered.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Coverage Criteria

Patients must meet one or more of the following:

  • Have a documented diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction within preceding 12 months; or
  • Have had coronary bypass surgery; or
  • Have current stable angina pectoris; or
  • Have had heart valve repair/replacement; or
  • Have had percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary stenting; or
  • Have had a heart or heart-lung transplant
  • Stable, chronic heart failure defined as patients with left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less and NY Heart Association class II to IV symptoms despite being on optimal heart failure therapy for at least six (6) weeks

Must include the following:

  • Physician prescribed exercise each day cardiac rehab items and services are furnished;
  • Cardiac risk factor modification, including education, counseling and behavioral intervention at least once during program, tailored to patient's needs;
  • Psychosocial assessment;
  • Outcomes assessment; and
  • An individualized treatment plan detailing how components are utilized for each patient


Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program

Coverage Criteria

Pulmonary rehab services are for patients with moderate to very severe COPD

  • Must include the following:
    • Physician-prescribed exercise. Some aerobic exercise must be included in each session;
    • Education or training closely and clearly related to individuals care and treatment which is tailored to their needs
    • Psychosocial assessment;
    • Outcomes assessment; and
    • An individual treatment plan detailing how components are utilized for each patient
  • Rehabilitation services should not exceed 36 sessions
  • Limited to a maximum of 2 1-hour sessions per day
  • Each unit reported must be at least 31 minutes in length
  • Acceptable termination
  • Achieved a stable level of exercise tolerance
  • Symptoms of angina are stable at maximum exercise level
  • Resting blood pressure and heart rate are normal
  • Stress test is not positive during exercise
Stress Testing Reasonable for one or more of the following:
  • Evaluation of chest pain
  • Development of exercise prescriptions
  • Pre and Postoperative evaluation of patients undergoing coronary artery by-pass procedures
Frequency Edits
  • Claims exceed two units on same date of service
  • KX modifier is not present over 36 sessions



Last Updated May 26, 2017