Medicare Pays for the Ornish Diet-and-Yoga Heart Program

Government plan covers exercise, nutrition to fight cardiac disease

by Lesley Kennedy • MORE.com Reporter

Want to lower your risk of heart trouble by following a diet plan and taking yoga classes? If you sign up for the Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease, Medicare will probably pay for it.

CNN reports that the government plan for Americans 65 and older covers Ornish’s cardiac program, which saw its first participants last May and includes a meat-free diet, meditation and exercise, such as yoga sessions.

Medicare pays about $70 an hour, with patients allowed as many as 72 hour-long sessions, the network adds.

“The reason that I spent 16 years working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to achieve Medicare coverage for our program is that I knew that most insurance companies follow Medicare’s lead,” Ornish tells CNN. “In other words, if Medicare covered our program, most other insurance companies would as well.”

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First Published February 28, 2012

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