CMS Seeks Comments on Supervised Exercise Therapy (SET) for Symptomatic Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Important News from AACVPR :  “CMS has posted a proposal that considers coverage of supervised exercise therapy for patients with symptomatic peripheral artery disease (PAD). This would be a separate and distinct coverage policy for PAD and not included within the Medicare CR coverage regulation. The posting is in response to a formal request from the American Heart Association.

Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) professionals are familiar with PAD, a common manifestation of cardiovascular disease. Anyone who has worked with this patient population knows in practice what the evidence demonstrates-that the benefit to be gained from exercise strategies that reduce symptoms of claudication is rewarding for clinicians and particularly beneficial for the patients who live with this disease. In fact, many hospital medical fitness facilities, hospital disease management programs, and CR programs already offer such treatment for patients with PAD. AACVPR will submit comments in support of covering supervised exercise therapy for patients with symptomatic PAD. If you support this CMS proposal, you may want to also submit comments to CMS. Comments of support from AACVPR members should be brief and express support of the concept.

Recommended points:

  • CMS is to be commended for recognizing the value of supervised exercise therapy in the treatment of symptomatic PAD.
  • The model of cardiac rehabilitation as a comprehensive disease management program that provides both exercise prescription and risk factor modification correlates well to a similar approach for PAD, a chronic, lifestyle disease that is manageable with exercise and positive behavior changes.

AACVPR leadership is working closely with the American Heart Association (AHA), which submitted the formal request for coverage to CMS. If it is determined by CMS that a coverage policy is appropriate, CMS will publish a proposed National Coverage Determination (NCD) with details of coverage that would be open for further public comments and AACVPR’s recommendations.

Your comments need to be submitted prior to October 15, 2016 by going to the CMS web site where the National Coverage Analysis (NCA) is posted. You will see the COMMENTS button at the top right that will allow you to submit your message.”

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