Thanks to our dedicated team and forward-thinking leadership, Pritikin ICR continues to experience tremendous growth despite the challenges which have arisen over the past year and a half. Our cardiac rehab solutions now extend to 100+ locations. Of those, 29 are members of MedAxiom, a division of the American College of Cardiology and the cardiovascular community's premier source for organizational performance solutions. In light of CMS waivers issued during the PHE, we have also expanded our offerings to include virtual cardiac rehab (VCR), with several Pritikin-licensed locations now offering some form of virtual, or at-home, cardiac rehab. And, as of August 2021, we exceeded 1.6 million cardiac rehab sessions across all of our Pritikin-licensed facilities.

Whether you’re interested in expanding your continuum of care to include cardiac rehabilitation for the first time, enhancing your existing CR program through ICR, or expanding your reach through virtual cardiac rehab, the information below can help you decide which of our versatile solutions is best for your facility, your team, and your patients.

Starting from Scratch: Launching Your Own Cardiac Rehab Program

The idea of starting from scratch may seem daunting, but it’s surprisingly easy to implement a brand-new Pritikin ICR program that can become an extension of the current services you offer at your practice. Our dedicated implementation and training teams will guide you from day one, outlining facility, staffing, and scheduling recommendations and providing individualized, ongoing support as you establish your program. Our goal is to help you and your team offer the highest level of patient care by empowering you with the resources you need to succeed, from both a clinical and an operational perspective.

Regardless of whether your site is part of a hospital system or a private practice, Pritikin’s flexible delivery model ensures the best possible cardiac rehab experience for your patients. Today, about 20% of our sites are privately-owned. Among them is Cardiovascular Institute of the South, an extensive network of clinics focused on providing a full spectrum of world-class cardiac care to patients across Louisiana and Mississippi. Annually, nearly 500 patients participate in the Pritikin ICR program at their Lafayette, LA, location, and just this past year, Cardiovascular Institute of the South expanded its rehab services to include Pritikin’s virtual cardiac rehab platform, further extending its patient reach.

From a hospital perspective, Arkansas Heart Hospital, based in Little Rock, has had tremendous success with its Pritikin ICR program, now offered across four locations. You can watch this MedAxiom video to hear how the Pritikin ICR program has positively impacted the hospital’s culture and strengthened its continuum of care, as told from the perspectives of Arkansas Heart leadership, physicians, cardiac rehab staff, and patients.

Moving from CR to Pritikin ICR

If you already offer traditional cardiac rehab, you may wonder how making the transition to Pritikin ICR will impact the patient experience, your operational procedures, and your program’s bottom line. It’s important to remember that Pritikin ICR is inclusive – all patients who qualify for traditional CR can enroll in Pritikin ICR, which features twice the number of Medicare-covered sessions: 72 vs. 36. With its rolling admission structure, new referrals do not have to wait for a cohort to form before they can begin rehab. Instead, they can start the 12- to 18-week program as soon as they are cleared for exercise.

What truly sets Pritikin ICR apart is the breadth of patient educational resources available to you and your care team. Engaging videos, immersive workshops, cooking demos, and individualized nutrition consultations equip your patients with the tools they need for successful, sustainable lifestyle change. Pritikin’s key pillars – regular exercise, a heart-healthy eating plan, and a healthy mind-set – have been proven through decades of research, and yet they are flexible enough to meet patients wherever they are in the recovery process. The Pritikin Eating Plan allows for modest amounts of animal protein while still emphasizing plenty of nutritious, plant-based foods, which means your patients can make gradual progress towards heart-heath.

Once licensed with Pritikin ICR, we become a true partner in your success through dedicated account management, monthly business reviews, and ongoing training for your cardiac rehab staff. With reasonable operating costs and no upfront licensing fees, Pritikin ICR offers significant incremental revenue while enhancing the clinical value of your existing cardiac rehab program. Kevin Moore, Executive Director of Michigan Heart, once described the decision to transition their existing cardiac rehab program to Pritikin ICR as a "no-brainer" because of the unique value that it brings to their cardiac patients, referring physicians, and the hospital itself. In 2017, Moore sat down with MedAxiom’s Joseph Sasson, PhD to discuss Michigan Heart’s journey with Pritikin ICR and to offer advice to those who may be considering starting such a program. Visit the MedAxiom website to view the full interview.

Expanding Care Through Virtual Options

Especially while the CMS “Hospital Without Walls” and telehealth waivers are still in effect, adding a virtual component to your cardiac rehab program can help you reach even more patients. This flexible, at-home approach to cardiac rehab, developed in partnership with Locus Health, means that you and your team can easily increase the number of sessions you provide to patients, without a significant increase in staff support. Pritikin’s virtual platform enables your patients to access live-streamed classes, educational videos, and support in real-time by using a Pritikin-provided iPad or their own smart device. And just as with on-site Pritikin ICR, adding this virtual component is easier than you think, thanks to our proven, thorough implementation and training process.

In June, Pritikin ICR President Terry Rogers participated in a MedAxiom webinar panel along with Amanda Xaysuda, Director of Arkansas Heart Hospital’s Strong Hearts Rehab Center, and Thomas Vidal, Director of Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation at Cardiovascular Institute of the South. Amanda and Thomas discussed how the integration of virtual cardiac rehabilitation has complemented their respective Pritikin ICR programs and provided insight into their patients’ experiences. To get a glimpse into how these two Pritikin-licensed locations manage their virtual offerings and learn how you can seamlessly integrate a similar virtual component into your cardiac rehab program, watch the recorded MedAxiom webinar.