Pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD may be available to individuals at decreased cost through Medicare Part B coverage. A rehabilitation program provides many benefits to those living with COPD. Slowed disease progression, increased lifespan, a better quality of life, and minimized flareups are some of the ways a rehabilitation program can benefit someone.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD, is a long-term condition of the lungs. The disease is usually the product of years of exposure to cigarette smoke or other harmful air irritants. Symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chronic tiredness, and swelling in the legs are commonly observed in individuals suffering from COPD. The lungs of COPD patients are chronically inflamed. The inflammation brings about mucous production which causes trouble breathing and persistent coughing. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are both usually present with COPD.
Within the U.S., the condition is usually a product of smoking. However, a small percentage of people have a genetic disorder called alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency which causes the onset of COPD. People with this disorder are not able to produce enough of the protein alpha-1-antitrypsin. This protein is important in maintaining the health of the lungs and protecting them from damage. Without it, the lungs are left susceptible to damage and the development of COPD.
Learning to live the best life possible is key to living with COPD. A pulmonary rehabilitation program helps to instruct individuals on the best ways to do just that. Learning how to navigate through shortness of breath is a key aspect of learning during the program. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs will usually guide patients through a monitored exercise program to teach them safe exercise techniques. Ideally, participants should come away with the knowledge necessary to develop a healthy lifestyle that accommodates their condition.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Coverage Through Medicare
The costs of a pulmonary rehabilitation program for COPD may be offset by Medicare Part B coverage. Provided that the doctor accepts assignment, Medicare Part B recipients will need to cover 20% of the Medicare-approved costs and Medicare will pick up the rest. The Part D deductible will also apply. A copayment may be required for individuals doing the program in a hospital outpatient setting.
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