California Pacific Medical Center's Closure of Cardiac Program Sparks Protests

California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco closed a rehabilitation program for heart patients Aug. 31, sparking protests from some patients, according to a Bay Citizen report.

The program, called Phase III, is the final rehabilitation stage for patients recovering from a cardiac event. The phase includes an exercise regimen at the hospital gym and access to nurses, exercise physiologists and an EKG monitor. Phase III classes are not covered by insurance.

The hospital is ending Phase III to focus more on encouraging participation in Phase II of rehabilitation, which is covered by insurance, according to the report. This phase features 24 to 36 weeks of a health regimen including exercise, nutritional training and counseling. CPMC also plans to extend Phase II to other patients, such as those with lung disease.

CPMC provided patients a list of alternatives to Phase III, such as local gyms and fitness classes at the hospital.

The program's closure led approximately 70 patients to demonstrate outside the hospital in protest.

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