In May this year the Florida legislature passed SB 1460 An Act Relating to Stroke Centers, and this week Governor De Santis signed it in to law. The act ensures the hospital stroke designations in Florida are updated and consistent with national guidelines for stroke systems.
The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, supported the legislation to ensure a more comprehensive stroke system of care. By taking this step, patients experiencing a stroke can be confident they will be transported to the most appropriate facility that can provide the care needed. Prior to this legislation, clinics and hospitals in Florida providing stroke care were able to self-certify that they had achieved all the prerequisites to be a primary or comprehensive stroke center. This new law requires independent third-party certification.
“Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability among Floridians” said Mark Landreth, Florida government relations director for the American Heart Association. “This new act will help strengthen Florida’s stroke system of care and ensure the hospital stroke designations in Florida are updated and consistent with national guidelines for stroke systems,” he said.
The act specifically requires all stroke centers to be certified by a nationally recognized independent verification organization no later than July 2, 2021; adds a new, more sophisticated level of stroke centers: Thrombectomy Capable; and requires the stroke registry to report their data to the Department of Health in a format of their choice.
“When it comes to stroke, Florida needs a strong system of care, and this act has ensured that this is will happen,” added Landreth.
Self-attested stroke centers now have two years to seek third-party certification which will mean which ever hospital you go to get care for a stroke, you know the standard of your care will be the same across the State.