WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 13, 2017 — American Heart Association President John J. Warner, M.D., issued the following comments today on the House Subcommittee on Health’s approval of the “Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act:”
"Today’s House action on the association’s FAST Act legislation could not be more perfectly timed. Given the news this week that the stroke death rate has stalled, providing the very best care for Americans who suffer from strokes must be a top priority. This bill, which the association has championed for many years, will advance access to timely, high quality stroke care by expanding Medicare telemedicine reimbursement for 94 percent of stroke patients regardless of where they live.
The FAST Act will not only improve the quality of stroke care, it will also save Medicare and Medicaid money. The rapid care of telestroke will help reduce patient disability, allowing more Americans to return home after a stroke instead of going into costly inpatient rehabilitation or long-term care.
Last year, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, in its report to Congress, found telestroke to be one of the most beneficial and cost-effective applications of telehealth, and suggested lawmakers consider expanding Medicare coverage to urban locations. The FAST Act accomplishes this goal, and we urge Congress to move this legislation forward and help us stop the tremendous toll stroke takes on families and our nation.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.
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