It might seem like something out of the future, but a neurologist miles away can now virtually diagnose and prescribe care for stroke patients via stroke telemedicine or telestroke. Telestroke can help ensure that more stroke patients receive clot-busting therapy and that they receive it more quickly, greatly improving the chances of a full recovery.
But this vital technology is not available to everyone.
Medicare only pays for the telestroke evaluation if the stroke patient is located in a rural area. With over 90% of strokes happening in urban or suburban areas, current law can restrict patient access to telestroke care.
However, there is a bill in Congress called the FAST (Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine) Act. This bill would expand Medicare’s coverage of telestroke services by reimbursing for a telestroke consultation, regardless of where the patient lives.
As the bill moves through Congress, we need to show as much support as possible for increasing access to telestroke. Please take a moment and urge your legislators to co-sponsor this important legislation today.