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Congressional Update: FAST Act Passes!

We did it! Thanks to all your hard work, on February 9th, Congress passed the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act!

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This means more Americans will have access to vital telestroke care no matter where they live. The FAST Act will truly improve the recovery and lives of stroke patients!

Why is this important? Stroke effects nearly 800,000 Americans each year, is the nation's No. 5 killer, and a leading cause of long-term disability. But you have helped to stop these devastating impacts. By allowing Medicare to reimburse for telestroke services, patients will be evaluated and receive powerful clot-busting therapies faster. When patients can access these services, they have better health outcomes.

Check out this video we made a few years ago that explains why increasing access to telestroke is so important.

How did we pass this important stroke bill? It’s simple. It’s because of your hard work. Let’s look at the numbers. Since the bill was introduced in 2015, You’re the Cure advocates have:

  • 47,000+ actions by YTC advocates
  • 39,000+ emails and tweets to lawmakers
  • 340+ meetings with members of Congress

It truly took a team effort and a lot of hard work to get this bill onto the President’s desk, but increasing access to vital telestroke was well worth it.

Also passed was a repeal of harmful therapy caps on stroke patients. Provisions in this bill will permanently remove the annual Medicare payment cap (limit) on outpatient therapy services, including physical therapy, speech pathology and occupation therapy which are medically necessary for survivors of stroke. This allows for far greater access to these critical therapy services.

From all of us, THANK YOU for all your hard work.

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