“Can you feel lucky that you had a heart attack? I don’t know,” wonders Michael Oatman. It may seem strange to say, but for the artist, college professor, and CDPHP member, the life-changing experience has not only amplified his artistic creativity, but also taught him more than a little about the importance of self-care and healthy habits. It’s not lost on this teacher that, at 57 years old, he still has something to learn.
“This whole journey has been scary but also totally interesting, in terms of my relationship with the health care system, these new medications, and working with Movn,” he says, referring to a unique cardiac rehabilitation program first introduced to the Capital Region by CDPHP in early 2021. Developed by the California-based company Moving Analytics, the Movn program was brought to the area by CDPHP as part of significant innovations in specialty care being made for members.
In fact, one bit of good fortune for Michael was that the launch of the Movn program by CDPHP happened at exactly the time he needed it. Within days of this heart attack, clinical staff from the CDPHP Hospital to Home team were at his bedside, helping him plan the next steps of his recovery, coordinating care with specialists, and offering a virtual option for cardiac rehabilitation with Movn.
“Very soon,” he recalls, “this smart watch arrived in the mail, and a blood-pressure cuff, and a scale, all of which is linked to the Movn app. It’s been a major tool for me to craft a new sort of schedule.”
Convenience and follow-through with necessary rehabilitation were major reasons why CDPHP brought the virtual option of Movn to its members. As further encouragement, copays for cardiac rehab—whether virtual or in-person—were also removed for eligible members. It’s all part of a larger initiative to bring leading-edge medical programs to the area and to improve quality of care for CDPHP members, while giving doctors in the CDPHP network access to the latest, state-of-the-art programs for their patients.
In the cardiology specialty, an unfortunate fact is that the number of patients completing the critical component of cardiac rehab in a traditional setting has historically been low. But with a virtual option that can more easily fit a patient’s schedule, the numbers improve dramatically. Movn has impressive results, with over 80 percent of participants completing the program, 85 percent better controlling their blood pressure, and 95 percent adhering to their medications.
“It’s a game-changer when it comes to improving access to cardiac care for our members,” says Bruce E. Coplin, MD, Sr. Vice President of Specialty Transformation and Medical Director for CDPHP. “Typically, fewer than 10 percent of members complete cardiac rehab, largely due to the limited number of in-person brick-and-mortar programs available in the region and having to take time off from work, not to mention what’s involved in getting to appointments—such as having to rely on someone to drive you. Copays have also been a barrier.”
“With Movn, we can offer our members a convenient, state-of-the-art program that can be completed at home on their schedule,” says Dr. Coplin. “CDPHP supports our members going to cardiac rehab regardless of where it is, brick-and-mortar or virtual. Our initial goal was to achieve a participation rate of 70 percent or more, in line with the goal set by the CDC for its Million Hearts program.”
For artist and professor Michael, the convenience is most of what has kept him engaged in his rehab and helped him prioritize self-care overall. “My take on being an artist has meant I really value my private time to get things done,” he explains. “And I’m with my students all day long, yesterday I talked from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s a long day and an exciting day, but it doesn’t allow me to be as consistent with all the things that I want to do for my health.”
“Getting into the right routine with Movn and CDPHP, with this kind of balance of exercising, doing some studio work, taking my meds, doing some school prep work, it’s all a new cycle of things that inform each other and make all of them easier to do. It’s been a good ‘better late than never’ thing for me to figure these things out.”
Nearly a year after his heart attack, Michael feels stronger, has more energy, is eating better, and getting more sleep. “I have a greater sense of peace knowing I’m actually doing something about this, with the help of my doctors, CDPHP, and Movn. It’s definitely a team sport at this point,” he says.
And his creativity has grown as well, with new and exciting art projects inspired by his personal health journey. “A lot of my work has been about preserving objects, material culture, things that I find in archives to use in my art,” he explains. “So now, I guess, I’m in this new place of (laughs) wanting to preserve myself.”
Currently, the Movn program is offered at no cost to eligible CDPHP members.
View more information on the Movn cardiac rehab program. CDPHP providers can access additional details on Movn cardiac rehab.