How you prepare

If you've had a heart attack or heart surgery, or if you have another heart condition, ask your doctor about joining a cardiac rehabilitation program. Insurance and Medicare often cover the costs of cardiac rehabilitation in the United States. Check with your insurance company to determine whether your cardiac rehabilitation will be reimbursed.

Your doctor and treatment team may work with you to set individual goals for you when you begin cardiac rehabilitation. Your team may create an individualized cardiac rehabilitation program for you.

Cardiac rehabilitation can begin while you're still in the hospital and continue with monitored programs in an outpatient setting until home-based maintenance programs can be safely followed. Otherwise, it may start about a week after dismissal from the hospital, such as after a heart attack or angioplasty and stents, but it may start later after heart surgery.