Fallbrook Hospital to shut down cardiac rehab dept.

Fallbrook Hospital told patients that utilize its cardiac rehabilitation unit last week that the program will be shut down effective October 1.

“I believe there are about 40 active participants,” said patient John Watson. “We all rely on this monitored, therapy program and there is no alternative like it locally.”

When contacted about the decision, Fallbrook Hospital, which is operated by Tennessee-based Community Healthy Systems (CHS), responded with a statement indicating the program closure was necessary to maintain other services in order to provide “the most needed, quality care.”

“We continually evaluate the services we offer to ensure our resources are applied to meeting the greatest community need,” the statement read. “We have initiated steps to close our Cardiac Rehab Program effective October 1 to focus on our hospital-based services of acute and emergency care.”

While the hospital stated, “We will work closely with our patients to ensure the smoothest possible transition,” affected patients have not yet heard any suggestions regarding alternatives.

Watson said he and others hope the Fallbrook Healthcare District will seek a solution to the void in care.

“The Fallbrook Healthcare District is aware of the hospital’s announced impending closure of its cardiac rehabilitation services, and is currently exploring a number of different options to help mitigate any impact of the service change to our community,” said Vi Dupre, district administrator.

The cardiac rehabilitation program has focused on three key areas: exercise, counseling, and education. It has helped those who have experienced cardiac incidents, like heart attacks, towards a healthy recovery together with reducing their risk of future problems. Key goals have included toning muscles as well as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. It has provided patients with individualized instruction using provided exercise equipment and training regimens, along with counseling programs.

Over the past years, many cardiac rehabilitation patients have said the program “made a big difference” for them. Last year, Jim Whisnand, a patient who had suffered a heart attack, said, “[It helped me get] my stamina and endurance back; when I first got out of the hospital, I could barely walk.”

The monitoring devices used in the program have been instrumental to this specialized form of rehabilitation.

“The nurses move you along as you are ready; they work to build up your endurance,” said Whisnand. “They are able to monitor a person here in a totally different way; they run EKG strips on you every 10 minutes or so. It’s a different level of monitoring than at a regular health club or gym.”

Watson said he was told no one was losing their job as a result of the closure, which he was happy about, but he and others are concerned about the future of their personal rehabilitation and overall health due to the closure of the program.

“We have and are speaking to different entities candidly and confidentially about measures which will assist the community, and we look forward to providing additional, more specific information as it becomes available,” said Dupre.

11 Responses to "Fallbrook Hospital to shut down cardiac rehab dept."

  1. Justwondering   September 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Notice the sign regarding nursing staff at fallbrook hospital going north on the 15 in rainbow? This sadly is the beginning of the end for the local hospital…

  2. Sad News   September 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    The cardiac rehab program is a wonderful thing, and it is quite distressing that it’s being discontinued. Surely the hospital district can find other areas to cut expenses especially since they are not looking to cut headcount. Before he passed away, my father was in the program for many years, and it is without a doubt that it played a key role in his living for as long as he did. The routine of having to be someplace to exercise, having it carefully monitored, and having the support of other rehab patients who have similar issues cannot be matched. Step up to the challenge Fallbrook Hospital District. Find a way to save this valuable, necessary program.

  3. Ray (the real one)   September 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Obozo care begins.

  4. Hmm   September 6, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Perhaps an evaluation of how many babies are born with out insurance..babies born to non citizen mothers..and babies born using Medi cal as payment. private insurance pays a heck of a lot more. Maybe have these lesser insured have their babies at Tri City…and let the cardiac program stay on town..

  5. john watson   September 6, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Cardio rehab has been operating for 25 years. Over than period, cardio rehab is easily in the same league with the emergency room in terms of numbers of lives saved. Cardio rehab keeps you alive and Phase III ends when you end. There is no comparable alternative to the Fallbrook cardio in Oceanside, Temecula, or Escondido and some patients can’t drive safely there anyway. Fallbrook NEEDS a viable, affordable cardio rehab function.

  6. Dollars and Cents   September 7, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Is there any indication as to exactly how much money will be saved by cutting this extremely valuable program? Usually when a service is cut, the provider steps up with the numbers. Notice in this case the article mentions the District would only issue a statement that it had to be cut to save other programs. There was apparently no elaboration of the savings or what other programs would be spared. How does our elected Hospital Board of Directors fit into this decision?

  7. SB   September 8, 2013 at 11:45 am

    #4, make those who very likely can’t even afford a reliable car travel further for necessary health care? I don’t think that’s the answer.

  8. FellowNurse34   September 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    It’s the same in Victoria, TX! A locally owned and operated CHS hospital. They are shutting down the “Skilled Nursing Unit” that currently employs over 20 nurses plus. As a former employee, I’ve witnessed many of the patient influx they receive is a number of orthopedic patients needing that follow up skilled nursing and rehab to help further assist the equipped therapies these patients need. The nursing staff on the skilled nursing unit were informed the unit would close down at the end of September, only to find out a week prior that instead it would shut down the floor three weeks in advancement. Also, to have their employees further their schedule with the company to APPLY to their desired spots, and that was their “ensure meant of no lay offs”. Whatever that means. I think CHS is just a bunch of xxxx, that care more about money than patient care at this momentum….. I pray for you guys, nurses to nurses!

  9. FallbrookFan   September 9, 2013 at 11:03 am

    And so Obama Care which nobody wanted but the current administration starts rearing its ugly head and the sad, sad truth that our healthcare will suffer because of it, starts becoming apparent to the low information Obama kool aid drinking voters.

  10. ??   September 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    To say that no nurses will be losing their jobs is false. They are able to apply for open positions, along with every other nurse looking for a job.

  11. DR DR   September 10, 2013 at 8:08 am

    @FallbrookFan: Yes, this is the beginning of ObamaCare, which "The People" did not get to vote on, which Congress themselves do not have to be enrolled.

    Employers started last year, putting employees on part time only. That is where Obama thought he could stick the cost, on employers. Nope. Walmart and Costco are creating their own health provider.

    You think good Doctors and Medical facilities are going to stick around for this?? Nope. It is a government run policy which they have been excluded.

    There is an open lane to Tijuana for medical purposes only…what does that tell you!!


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