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  1. Keteyian, Steven J. PhD
  2. Jackson, Sandra L. PhD, MPH
  3. Chang, Anping MPH, MS
  4. Brawner, Clinton A. PhD
  5. Wall, Hilary K. MPH
  6. Forman, Daniel E. MD
  7. Sukul, Devraj MD
  8. Ritchey, Matthew D. DPT, PT, MPH
  9. Sperling, Laurence S. MD


Purpose: This study updates cardiac rehabilitation (CR) utilization data in a cohort of Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized for CR-eligible events in 2017, including stratification by select patient demographics and state of residence.


Methods: We identified Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries who experienced a CR-eligible event and assessed their CR participation (>=1 CR sessions in 365 d), engagement, and completion (>=36 sessions) rates through September 7, 2019. Measures were assessed overall, by beneficiary characteristics and state of residence, and by primary (myocardial infarction; coronary artery bypass surgery; heart valve repair/replacement; percutaneous coronary intervention; or heart/heart-lung transplant) and secondary (angina; heart failure) qualifying event type.


Results: In 2017, 412 080 Medicare beneficiaries had a primary CR-eligible event and 28.6% completed >=1 session of CR within 365 d after discharge from a qualifying event. Among beneficiaries who completed >=1 CR session, the mean total number of sessions was 25 +/- 12 and 27.6% completed >=36 sessions. Nebraska had the highest enrollment rate (56.1%), with four other states also achieving an enrollment rate >50% and 23 states falling below the overall rate for the United States.


Conclusions: The absolute enrollment, engagement, and program completion rates remain low among Medicare beneficiaries, indicating that many patients did not benefit or fully benefit from a class I guideline-recommended therapy. Additional research and continued widespread adoption of successful enrollment and engagement initiatives are needed, especially among identified populations.