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Cardiac Rehab Saves Lives. So Why Don't More Heart Patients Sign Up?

(Kaiser Health News) [D]espite many years of research showing that joining a cardiac rehabilitation program can help heart patients heal faster and even live longer, Oikonomides is among a minority of patients who take advantage of such programs; fewer than a third do.
Why is rehab such a hard sell? Blame it on a number of factors, doctors say.
Some patients have to travel a long way to the nearest program; work schedules keep others from joining. Uninsured patients often can't afford it. And even those with insurance can be stopped short by copayments that can be $20, $40 — or even $50 a class.
"The number one barrier is the cost of the copay, which is frustrating," says Dr. Ellen Keeley, a cardiologist at the University of Virginia Health System.
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