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The Affordable Care Act: New Opportunities for Cardiac Rehabilitation in the Workplace?

Pinkstaff, Sherry O. PhD, PT; Arena, Ross PhD, PT, FAHA; Myers, Jonathan PhD, FAHA; Kaminsky, Leonard PhD; Briggs, Paige MBA, PMP; Forman, Daniel E. MD; Patel, Mahesh J. MD; Cahalin, Lawrence P. PhD, PT

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: August 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 8 - p 809–813
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000222
Original Articles

Many people affected by cardiovascular disease (CVD) are working age. Employers bear a large percentage of the costs associated with CVD. Employers pay 80 times more in diagnosis and treatment than in prevention, although there is evidence that 50% to 70% of all diseases are associated with preventable health risks. As a result, the worksite is an appealing location to deliver health care.

Cardiac rehabilitation has developed a track record of delivering improved outcomes for patients with CVD. Partnerships between cardiac rehabilitation providers and worksite health programs have the potential to improve referral and participation rates of employees with CVD. The current era of health reform in the United States that has been stimulated by the Affordable Care Act provides an ideal opportunity to reconsider worksite health programs as an essential partner in the health care team.

From the Department of Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences (Dr Pinkstaff), University of North Florida, Jacksonville; Department of Physical Therapy and Integrative Physiology Laboratory (Dr Arena), College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago; Division of Cardiology (Dr Myers), VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Calif; Human Performance Laboratory (Dr Kaminsky), Clinical Exercise Physiology Program, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind; University of New Mexico (Ms Briggs), Albuquerque; Division of Cardiovascular Medicine (Dr Forman), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass; Department of Medicine (Dr Patel), Division of Cardiology, Duke University, Durham, NC; and Department of Physical Therapy (Dr Cahalin), Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Fla.

Address correspondence to: Sherry O. Pinkstaff, PhD, PT, Assistant Professor, Brooks College of Health, Physical Therapy Program, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL 32224 (s.pinkstaff@unf.edu).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine