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Smith Introduces Measure to Increase Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation Care

March 19, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE), along with his colleagues Representatives Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Peter Welch (D-VT), introduced the Increasing Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation Act of 2021. The bill would authorize physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists, referred to as advanced practice providers, to begin supervising patients’ day-to-day cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation care to expand patient access to cardiovascular services.

“Nebraskans from all parts of the state are affected by heart and lung disease and need access to cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs, which are proven to enhance patients’ health and quality of life,” said Rep. Smith. “This legislation will increase access for cardiac patients, particularly in rural areas, by expanding who can order and supervise these programs, ensuring patients receive the care they need.”

“Heart disease is a leading cause of death in Delaware, but we know that reducing barriers to accessing cardiac rehabilitation has direct patient benefits, including the risk of a future cardiac event,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “I’m proud to join my colleague, Congressman Adrian Smith, and the bill’s original cosponsors, in ensuring that patients can receive timely referrals to these critical health care services and benefit from this effective treatment.”

The Increasing Access to Quality Cardiac Rehabilitation Act of 2021 is supported by: 

  • American Heart Association
  • American Association of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • American Academy of Cardiology
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • American Association for Respiratory Care
  • American Nurses Association
  • WomenHeart
  • American Academy of PAs
  • Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association