Affordable Care Act May Encourage Employers to Offer Cardiac Rehab

(HealthDay News) — Financial incentives and the emphasis on outcomes in the current era of health reform in the United States may encourage delivery of preventive care services, such as cardiac rehabilitation, in the workplace, according to research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Sherry O. Pinkstaff, PhD, PT, of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, and colleagues present an overview of worksite health programs and cardiac rehabilitation and describe the emerging opportunities for worksite cardiac rehabilitation within the context of the Affordable Care Act.

The researchers found that many patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) are of working age, and employers incur substantial costs associated with CVD. Although evidence suggests that about 50% to 70% of all diseases are linked to preventable health risks, employers pay 80 times more in costs for diagnosis and treatment than for prevention. 

Cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to improve outcomes for patients with CVD. Partnerships between cardiac rehabilitation providers and worksite health programs might improve referral and participation rates among 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,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Pinkstaff SO et al. J Occup Environ Med. 2014;56(8):809-813.