It’s a new year and we are redoubling our efforts to improve the lives of stroke patients and their caregivers. Whether on Capitol Hill or in your state, You’re the Cure advocates will be fighting for stroke smart policies across the country.
Here is a preview of a few of our 2016 priorities.
Increasing access to telestroke care
One of our biggest priorities is increasing access to telestroke via the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act. Right now there are 48 cosponsors, but our goal is 100!
Increasing telestroke access is vital for stroke patients. Allowing a neurologist miles away to virtually diagnose and prescribe care ensures more stroke patients receive clot-busting therapy and that they receive it more quickly, greatly improving the chances of a full recovery.
Save the date! On March 1st, approximately two-dozen You’re the Cure advocates will be in Washington, D.C. urging Congress to support the FAST Act. Stay tuned for ways you can join them from home!
Make stroke research a priority
In December, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) received $2 billion in additional funding! In 2016 we will continue to make sure NIH gets the support it deserves. Why? Because to say medical research has been essential to fighting stroke would be an understatement.
Whether it was the CT scan, the clot-busting drug tPA, or new ways to manage stroke risk factors, it is easy to see that medical research has been essential to fighting stroke. Each life-saving discovery has extended and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who suffer a stroke each year.
Expand state stroke registries
In an effort to improve the quality of care delivered to stroke patients, stroke registries have been developed to measure and track acute stroke care. The more data we can collect on stroke care, the better we can tell what is and what is not working. For example, through stroke registries we’ve learned that patients who arrive at the ER by ambulance get treated more quickly and how to address barriers to using tPA.We are working to get more states to establish these registries and collect this vital data.
Continue to expand Medicaid coverage
Making sure more Americans have health insurance is critical to saving lives, especially from stroke. Stroke patients without insurance coverage are up to 56 percent more likely to die, compared to stroke patients with insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states have a chance to expand Medicaid coverage to their low-income residents, but unfortunately only 31 states have done so. You’re the Cure advocates will work tirelessly in 2016 to expand Medicaid coverage to more Americans.
As 2016 begins, we are counting on you. Will you join us? If you are not a member of You're the Cure, sign up today!