Advocate Christ Medical Center
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Why did my doctor enroll me in a cardiac rehabilitation program?
What is cardiac rehabilitation?
What are the benefits of the program?
How does the program work?
Who provides the medical care?
Will my insurance cover this?
Who may enroll in this program?
Where is the cardiac rehabilitation program located?

1. Why did my doctor enroll me in a cardiac rehabilitation program?

If you have recently had a heart attack, angioplasty, coronary artery bypass graft, or have been told by your physician that you may be at high-risk for a heart attack, you may enroll in Advocate Christ Medical Center's cardiac rehabilitation program upon referral from your doctor.

2. What is cardiac rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive program consisting of monitored exercise, health education and support. It helps people who are recovering from or experiencing a heart problem return to an active life.

3. What are the benefits of the program?

The cardiac rehabilitation program can provide you with the following benefits:

  • increased awareness of risk factors, including hypertension, smoking, elevated cholesterol, diabetes and sedentary lifestyle;
  • gradually increased exercise tolerance;
  • increased work capacity of the heart;
  • lower blood pressure and heart rate;
  • lower body fat and increased lean muscle mass; and
  • lower blood cholesterol.

4. How does the program work?

The rehabilitation program is broken down into three phases:

Phase I Rehabilitation
Phase I begins during your inpatient hospital stay. You and your family learn about heart disease, diet and exercise. You are shown basic tone-maintaining exercises to combat the effects of bed rest. In addition, you are closely monitored by the cardiac rehabilitation staff who report to your physicians. Guidelines for physical activity, aerobic exercise and diet modification are provided when you are discharged.

Phase II Rehabilitation
Phase II is an outpatient program of supervised exercises for patients who have been discharged from the hospital following a heart attack, coronary angioplasty, coronary bypass surgery, or for individuals identified by their physician as being at risk for future cardiac problems.

The program is committed to enhancing your knowledge and awareness of risk factors. A case manager will be assigned to frequently review your progress and forward information to your physician. The orientation week is structured to provide exercise and increased knowledge of diet, stress management and the benefits of exercise. Patients are enrolled in the American Heart Association's "Active Partnership" educational program. Videotapes on risk reduction, in conjunction with lectures, are provided. An individual exercise prescription is developed for you and reassessed with each visit to maximize the conditioning benefits of regular exercise.

Exercise sessions are carefully supervised using a cardiac rhythm monitor under the direction of specially trained registered nurses and exercise physiologists with experience in cardiology and advanced life support.

Phase III Rehabilitation
After completing 36 sessions of Phase II rehabilitation, you may decide to continue with the Phase III maintenance program which includes:

  • a structured exercise program recommended for three months;
  • monitoring of vital signs pre- and post-exercise; and
  • continued availability of staff to assist with changes in your exercise program and maintain a safe environment.

The cost of Phase III rehabilitation is $75 per month.

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5. Who provides the medical care?

The cardiac rehabilitation staff includes masters-prepared exercise physiologists and critical care nurses with advanced cardiac life support training. They oversee the day-to-day activity of patients. During the program, you remain under the care of your primary physician and any consultants you may have previously seen. They will receive periodic reports on your progress and will be consulted on matters related to care and treatment.

6. Will my insurance cover this?

Depending on the type of coverage, most commercial insurance carriers will pay the major share of the cost of Phase II. You should always consult your insurance company to determine proper coverage.

7. Who may enroll in this program?

Patients from any hospital may enroll in Phase II or Phase III cardiac rehabilitation at Advocate Christ Medical Center with written referral from their physician. Patients interested in enrolling should contact the cardiac rehabilitation center at 708.346.3175.

A staff member will arrange an appointment for orientation to the program and facilities.

Patients are required to have a low-level stress test administered by a physician before starting Phase II or Phase III rehabilitation.

8. Where is the cardiac rehabilitation program located?

You can access Christ Medical Center cardiac rehabilitation services at two convenient locations:

  • Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn
  • High Tech Medical Park in Palos Heights

For more information, call 708.346.3175.

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