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Pritikin Program Approved by Medicare in Landmark Decision

Thursday, August 19, 2010 General News J E 4
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MIAMI, Aug. 18 In a groundbreaking decision, Medicare will pay for Pritikin's intensive diet-and-exercise programs for qualifying individuals with a history or risk of cardiovascular events, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has disclosed. The decision makes the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, located in Miami, Fla., the first and only residential healthy-lifestyle education program in the country to offer Medicare-covered intensive cardiac rehabilitation, or ICR.

The criteria for coverage of an intensive cardiac rehabilitation program by Medicare are stringent, including such requirements as peer-reviewed, published research demonstrating that the program reduces the need for bypass surgery as well as significantly lowers cholesterol levels, triglycerides, body mass index, and blood pressure, and the need for medications for cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes. Over the past 35 years, more than 115 studies have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including the Archives of Internal Medicine and the New England Journal of Medicine, proving that participants in the Pritikin Program achieve these and other significant health benefits, including substantial and sustained weight loss.

"When the Pritikin Center was founded in the 1970s by Nathan Pritikin and my father, Dr. David Lehr, Medicare coverage for diet and exercise or preventive medicine was unheard of," said Paul Lehr, President of the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa. "Pritikin's diet, exercise, and education program has been shown to prevent and reverse many of the diseases that affect most Americans, and has long been considered the gold standard in health and wellness support."

To take advantage of the Pritikin Program, eligible Medicare beneficiaries can attend the one- or two-week residential or non-residential programs at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in its new and expanded hotel, exercise, and spa facilities at the Doral Golf Resort in Miami, FLA. Medicare will reimburse eligible beneficiaries for up to 72 one-hour ICR sessions, up to 6 sessions per day, at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa.

Lehr said, "To address the health crisis in our country, it is imperative that we focus more on the source of the problem, which is an unhealthy lifestyle, rather than relying solely on disease management measures like bypass surgery and angioplasty. Pritikin helps not only prevent but reverse serious health issues and dramatically improves the everyday lives of people who go through the program. I am thankful that Medicare's coverage has now made this valuable program more widely available and affordable for the American people, and I believe that funding preventive health care can save Medicare millions of dollars."

About the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa:

The PritikinŽ Program is a lifestyle-change program founded 50 years ago by Nathan Pritikin, who emphasized exercise and a diet rich in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, seafood, nonfat dairy, and lean meat. Today, guests can receive the full benefits of the Pritikin Program at the Pritikin Longevity CenterŽ & Spa, a full-service health resort in Miami, Fla., where people attend sessions with Pritikin's physicians, exercise physiologists, Ph.D registered dietitians and nutritionists, and other health professionals. Based on years of scientific research, and validated in more than 115 clinical studies, Pritikin has had more than 100,000 people visit to lose weight, prevent and reverse health problems like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, and improve their health. More than 10 million Pritikin books have been sold. For more information, please visit www.pritikin.com.

SOURCE Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa
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