The outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program is a small group class that meets twice weekly. Its goal is to help patients with COPD cope with their illness by developing strategies that enhance breathing and exercise tolerance. In addition, there is a learning component designed to help the patient execute the strategies developed in the gym with the goal of having a better quality of life.
Other diagnoses treated in our program include:
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- Post-operative lung surgery
Studies have shown that patients with COPD who participate in prescribed exercise benefit both physiologically and psychologically.
These benefits include:
- Increased physical capacity
- Decreased anxiety about breathlessness
- Greater independence with daily activities
- Reduce fatigue
- Improved quality of life
Burke’s outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program aims to help you gain these benefits through therapist-monitored exercise sessions. Our therapists are devoted to helping you achieve your goals, improve pulmonary fitness, reduce pulmonary risk factors and minimize the potential for further pulmonary problems.
After getting medically approved for the program by our pulmonologist, patients receive a comprehensive assessment by a physical therapist to determine how many sessions are needed to meet endurance and functional goals.
Each hour-long group session consists of a warm-up, an endurance activity, a cool down and an educational component covering various topics, breathing and energy conservation techniques. Patients also take home handouts and visual aids to help them outside of class. A report of your progress may be sent to your doctor at the time of completion.
How to Enroll
You will need to submit the results of a recent pulmonary function test (PFT) or spirometric pulmonary function exam before you can be evaluated by Burke’s pulmonologist. The paperwork can be faxed to (914) 597-2763.
Once it is received, Burke will contact you to schedule an evaluation with the pulmonary program’s medical director. After the evaluation, you will have a screening evaluation by our ambulatory rehabilitation nurse. Pending approval from the medical director, you will then be contacted to schedule your initial assessment by the pulmonary therapist and be enrolled in one of our classes that meets twice a week.
Burke’s pulmonary rehabilitation program is designed to comply with Medicare guidelines and is a covered benefit for Medicare patients. Medicare has a lifetime benefit of 36 visits with another 36 available with a physician’s supporting letter. The length of this program is usually eight to 10 weeks, meaning a patient can conceivably attend the program up to four times if necessary. Many commercial insurers and Medicaid will cover the cost of this program as well.
The outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program is located in the outpatient building, building 8, on Burke’s main campus in White Plains. For more information call (914) 597-2139.