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Stroke Center Update Legislation Heads to Governor for Signature

May 23, 2017

As Stroke Awareness Month comes to an end, the Pennsylvania Senate voted unanimously to update the stroke designation law, ensuring that patients are taken to stroke centers that deliver the appropriate level of care. House Bill 23, sponsored by State Representative Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh), makes important changes to the stoke center law to reflect federal updates, including:

  • Changing the name of the current law to the Stroke System of Care Act
  • Creating designations for acute stroke-ready hospitals and comprehensive stroke centers
  • Establishing the process to be used to recognize each facility designation
  • Calling on the Department of Health to make available location and other information regarding each designated facility
  • Requiring the Department of Health to ensure proper protocols related to the treatment of stroke patients
  • Providing for completion of a biennial report to identify any changes in the number or location of each facility designation

Primary stroke centers were created through Act 54 of 2012 to ensure patient access to a network of hospitals fully prepared to evaluate, stabilize, and provide emergency and inpatient care to patients with acute stroke. 

HAP commends Rep. Mackenzie for his work with stakeholders, and for ushering this necessary legislation through the legislative process. The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.

For additional information, please contact Scott Bishop, HAP’s senior vice president, legislative advocacy; or Stephanie Watkins, vice president, state legislative advocacy.

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