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Bill to Improve Stroke Care in PA Signed into Law

June 13, 2017

Governor Wolf has signed House Bill 23 into law. Act 4 of 2017 ensures that patients are taken to stroke centers that deliver appropriate levels of care. 

The bill, 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.

"The quicker a person receives appropriate treatment for a stroke, the better the outcome can be in terms of survival and reduced long-term complications and disability," said Mackenzie. "With better information available to first responders, we are in a position to improve the type of care stroke victims receive from the onset. My legislation will make sure that information is used by all first responders across the state." 

HAP commends Rep. Mackenzie for his work with stakeholders, and for ushering this necessary legislation through the legislative process.

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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