Pulmonary Rehab Reduces Hospitalizations

lungsPulmonary rehab can make a real difference as a key component of your management plan for patients with impaired lung function. Its benefits go beyond helping them breathe more easily. When your patients learn to control their symptoms, hospital readmissions decrease. The skills patients learn decrease their respiratory complications and symptoms.

Patients may also see improved physical condition and emotional wellbeing. Our program helps them tackle tasks with confidence and develop a more positive outlook toward treatment and medical management.

Patient Benefits from Rehab

Education and exercise are the two key components of pulmonary rehab. We teach techniques to conserve energy and breathe more efficiently. Even patients with advanced lung disease can benefit, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Patients work on breathing techniques and learn the importance of exercise and pacing. We also address how medication affects the lungs and lifestyle issues, such as smoking cessation, nutrition and stress management.

Exercise is very important for patients with chronic lung disease who suffer from dyspnea. Our program teaches them exercises to improve their ability to function during daily activities.

Jason Fieser, MD“Unfortunately, there is a cycle where patients get short of breath from COPD, leading to decreased mobility and a sedentary lifestyle,” explains Dr. Jason Fieser with Meritas Health Pulmonary Medicine (formerly Pulmonary Medicine Associates) and co-medical director of the Pulmonary Rehab program. “This leads to further dyspnea with exertion and more deconditioning. Pulmonary rehab is extremely helpful in breaking this cycle.”

After the rehab sessions, Dr. Fieser says, “My patients with chronic pulmonary issues come into the office telling me they feel better than they have for a long time.”

Rehab from Award Winning Lung Experts

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is part of the award-winningBest Hospitals pulmonary team. North Kansas City Hospital has been rated one of the top hospitals in the region for pulmonary services by U.S. News & World Report.

Our program incorporates the latest research and includes education in exercise, nutrition and lifestyle, personalized for each patient. The pulmonary team includes an exercise physiologist, nurse and respiratory therapist – a range of disciplines not all rehab programs offer.

The year-and-a-half-old pulmonary program is growing, as more Northland doctors refer patients who have chronic conditions such as COPD, severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, sarcoidosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension.

Personalized Services to Meet Patient Goals

A key feature of our program is that we tailor services to fit your patients’ needs.

For some people, their goals include returning to work and having the stamina to socialize with friends. For others, they need help learning how to get up and down stairs. We listen to patients to learn about their lifestyle needs and develop a customized program.

Jeff Forsse, an exercise physiologist with the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, says his goal is “getting patients back to daily, functional living.” That means something different to every patient. Classes are small in size, allowing for personal attention.

Pulmonary Rehab: What You Need to Know

It’s easy for physicians to get their patients referred to the program by completing a short referral form or calling the program to enroll a patient. 

  • The nine-week pulmonary program runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, four times each day. Recent function tests and a specific diagnosis are required.
  • Medicare covers pulmonary rehab for moderate to severe COPD. Medicare will also cover some other pulmonary diagnoses under a different CPT code. Commercial insurance policies vary.

To learn more, call 816-691-1575.