There is good news this year for individuals still suffering from shortness of breath related to previous COVID-19 infection. Beginning January 1, 2022, Medicare began to cover pulmonary rehabilitation for individuals who have had confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and then continue to experience persistent shortness of breath for at least four weeks.
Registered Respiratory Therapist April Hicks said, “Many people’s lives have been completely changed from having COVID-19, particularly due to their continued shortness of breath. With pulmonary rehabilitation we can help them once again take control of their breathing and, ultimately, their lives.”
Pulmonary rehabilitation is designed to help increase strength, endurance, and overall health through exercise, education, diet, and support while decreasing patients’ shortness of breath. A therapist monitors patients’ progress and send reports to their physicians.
“COVID-19 has taught us that we shouldn’t take our health for granted and that, now more than ever, we need to make it a priority. We urge anyone who is still suffering from shortness of breath to ask their physician for a referral to pulmonary rehabilitation, because nothing else matters when you can’t breathe,” Hicks continued.
To begin a pulmonary rehabilitation program, individuals should contact their physician for a referral. Neither hospitalization nor a positive COVID-19 test are required for program participation. Call 814-467-3782 for more information.
About Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber
Founded in 1906, Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber (CSSMCW) is an independent, non-profit acute care hospital in northern Somerset County, bordering Cambria County. The 54-bed hospital shares a campus and collaborates with Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber (CSSIMMW), a private, non-profit biomedical research center. With more than 450 employees, CSSMCW is the fourth largest employer in Somerset County. CSSMCW’s mission is to provide excellence in personalized, quality health care services through innovation, research and education in response to community needs. For more information visit www.windbercare.org.