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Published on April 15, 2022

Kearney Regional Medical Center Launches Intensive Cardiac Rehab Program

Kearney Regional Medical Center has become the first medical center in Nebraska outside of Lincoln to offer the Pritikin Program, Intensive Cardiac Rehab Program.

Pritikin’s comprehensive lifestyle change program improves cardiovascular health by teaching patients important skills based on three pillars:

  1. Safe, effective exercise
  2. A balanced eating plan based on minimally-processed, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and sensible amounts of lean meat
  3. A healthy mind-set which fosters healthy behaviors

The Pritikin Program has been taught for over 40 years at the Pritikin Longevity Center. With more than 100 peer-reviewed, published scientific studies backing its efficacy, the Pritikin Program is approved for reimbursement under the Intensive Cardiac Rehab (ICR) CMS benefit class. With twice the number of Medicare-covered sessions as traditional cardiac rehab (72 instead of 36), Pritikin offers a unique lifestyle education program which includes medically-supervised exercise, nutrition education, cooking lessons, and behavioral skills workshops.

Lifestyle choices are very important in order to avoid a heart condition – according to the World Health Organization, 80% of all heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes can be prevented through healthier lifestyle choices.

The Pritikin Program enables KRMC to provide patients with comprehensive, evidence-based lifestyle education in an outpatient setting. Through our medical expertise and a prescription for ICR, patients have an opportunity to reduce future health risks and improve the quality of their lives.

Pritikin’s comprehensive learning model consists of immersive workshops, cooking classes, and professionally-produced videos. This flexible curriculum can be tailored to fit patients’ needs, and is designed to reinforce key concepts and support a variety of learning styles. Loved ones are encouraged to attend each ICR session for additional patient motivation and support.

Through Pritikin ICR, patients learn how to:

  • Implement significant lifestyle changes
  • Create a personalized Nutrition Action Plan and Exercise Action Plan
  • Lose weight using healthy, evidence-based strategies
  • Make heart-healthy choices when preparing a meal or dining out
  • Utilize a variety of strategies for tobacco cessation (if needed)
  • Manage stress in their daily lives

Qualifying Patient Events for ICR:

  • Acute myocardial infarction (within the preceding 12 months)
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery (no time limit)
  • Current stable angina pectoris (no time limit)
  • Heart valve repair or replacement (no time limit)
  • Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty / stenting (no time limit)
  • Heart or heart-lung transplant (no time limit)
  • Chronic heart failure (same limitations as CR)

To learn more about Pritikin at KRMC, contact Michele Cline, Cardiovascular Services Manager.

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