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  1. Thirapatarapong, Wilawan MD
  2. Thomas, Randal J. MD, MS
  3. Pack, Quinn MD, MSc
  4. Sharma, Saurabh MBBS
  5. Squires, Ray W. PhD


BACKGROUND: Although cardiac rehabilitation (CR) improves outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF), studies suggest variable uptake by patients with HF, as well as variable coverage by insurance carriers. The purpose of this study was to determine the percentage of large commercial health insurance companies that provide coverage for outpatient (CR) for patients with HF.


METHODS: We identified a sample of the largest US commercial health care providers and analyzed their CR coverage policies for patients with HF. We surveyed 44 large private health care insurance companies, reviewed company Web sites, and, when unclear, contacted companies by e-mail or telephone. We excluded insurance clearinghouses because they did not directly provide health care insurance.


RESULTS: Of 44 eligible insurance companies, 29 (66%) reported that they provide coverage for outpatient CR in patients with HF. The majority of companies (83%) covered CR for patients with any type of HF. A minority (10%) did not cover CR for patients with HF if it was considered a preexisting condition.


CONCLUSIONS: A significant percentage of commercial health care insurance companies in the United States report that they currently cover outpatient CR for patients with HF. Because health insurance coverage is associated with patient participation in CR, it is anticipated that patients with HF will increasingly participate in CR in coming years.