Pulmonary Rehabilitation Frequently Asked Questions

We've gathered answers to frequently asked questions about pulmonary rehabilitation below to help you make an informed decision about your health care. 

For more information, please contact the pulmonary rehabilitation program at 773-878-8200, ext. 7321.


Basic Questions About Pulmonary Rehabilitation

    What is pulmonary rehabilitation? 

    Pulmonary rehabilitation is the use of supervised exercise, education, lifestyle counseling and group support to maximize level of function and quality of life of individuals with COPD or other chronic respiratory illnesses.  

    What is a pulmonary rehabilitation program? 

    A pulmonary rehabilitation program is an organized, certified and multifaceted approach to rehabilitation for individuals with chronic respiratory illnesses. In addition to supervised exercise, pulmonary rehabilitation programs include education, nutrition and lifestyle modification, as well as support made possible through groups of like-minded individuals with similar diagnoses.  

    What do you do in pulmonary rehabilitation? 

    Participants in pulmonary rehabilitation meet twice a week to engage in education, discussion and supervised exercise to improve their condition and maximize their respiratory health and wellness.  

    Who benefits from pulmonary rehabilitation? 

    Individuals with chronic respiratory diseases benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation through the improvement of their condition and the education and instruction on how to exercise safely and diet appropriately.  

    Who qualifies for pulmonary rehabilitation? 

    Individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or another chronic respiratory illness are eligible to benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation. To qualify for the program, you must have a pulmonary function test diagnosis of moderate to severe respiratory illness.  

    Who provides pulmonary rehabilitation?

    Pulmonary rehabilitation is provided by certified nurses and exercise physiologists under the guidance of board-certified pulmonologists and cardiologists. 

    Where is pulmonary rehabilitation done? 

    Our pulmonary rehabilitation program is located in Galter LifeCenter, Chicago’s only certified medical fitness center, conveniently located right on our main hospital campus.  

    When should patients be referred to pulmonary rehabilitation?

    A board-certified respiratory therapist will perform a pulmonary function test in order to determine the severity of your chronic respiratory illness. Diagnosis of moderate to severe pulmonary disease indicates a need for pulmonary rehabilitation.  

    How long does pulmonary rehabilitation last?

    Our pulmonary rehabilitation program lasts approximately three months on average. During this time, participants meet twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.  

    What is the goal of pulmonary rehabilitation?

    The goal of pulmonary rehabilitation is to maximize your level of functioning and quality of life while minimizing risk of complications due to a chronic respiratory illness.  

    Is pulmonary rehab the same as cardiac rehab?

    While both pulmonary rehabilitation and cardiac rehabilitation focus on improving cardiovascular health through exercise and diet, they differ in that cardiac rehabilitation is focused on heart health while pulmonary rehabilitation is centered on the health of the lungs.

The Benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation

    What are the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation?

    The benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation include a greater understanding of chronic respiratory disease and what you can do to improve it, a greater quality of life and a higher level of functioning. 

    Why is pulmonary rehabilitation important?

    Pulmonary rehabilitation is important to help prevent complications brought on by chronic respiratory illness, in addition to improvement in quality of life for the long term.  

    How does pulmonary rehabilitation work? 

    Pulmonary rehabilitation works due to the body’s ability to adapt to the stresses of exercise. Over time, participants are able to improve their level of function by exercising carefully to reduce fatigue and improve function.  

    How does pulmonary rehabilitation help COPD?

    Pulmonary rehabilitation helps COPD by reducing symptoms and increasing cardiovascular health while also lowering risk of complications associated with respiratory disease. 

    How effective is pulmonary rehabilitation? 

    Pulmonary rehabilitation is very effective for individuals who are committed to and engaged in the program to better their own health through applied knowledge.  

Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Insurance Coverage

    How much does pulmonary rehabilitation cost?

    Pulmonary rehab is covered by most insurance companies for patients that qualify. Always check with your insurance company to confirm coverage.  

    Does Medicare cover pulmonary rehabilitation?

    Medicare covers pulmonary rehabilitation for patients that quality. You should always confirm with your insurance company prior to attending rehabilitation.  

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the pulmonary rehabilitation program at 773-878-8200, ext. 7321.



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