Senate Passes New Legislation to Promote Heart Health With New Statewide System of Stroke Care

June 10, 2016

The New York State Senate this week passed legislation to support the rapid identification, diagnosis and treatment of strokes to help save more lives. The bill (S5771A), sponsored by Senator Terrence Murphy (R-C-I, Yorktown), authorizes the designation of comprehensive stroke centers, primary stroke centers, and acute stroke-ready hospitals that will complement and enhance the state’s existing system of stroke care to provide better treatment for stroke patients statewide.

Senator Murphy said, “As a healthcare professional, I can attest to the fact that stroke center designations will save lives. I am proud to have partnered with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association to lead the fight on this common-sense legislation that has already been established in other states across the nation. This important legislation passed with unanimous bipartisan support and I urge my colleagues in the Assembly to follow suit before this year's session ends.”

Strokes are the nation’s fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious long-term disability, with almost 795,000 new and recurring cases being reported per year. To increase survival and decrease the disabilities associated with stroke, an effective system is needed in New York’s communities to treat stroke patients in a timely manner and improve their overall treatment.

This legislation would provide specific patient care and support services criteria that stroke centers must meet in order to ensure that stroke patients receive safe and effective treatment. Hospitals would be able to apply to the state Department of Health to be designated as a comprehensive stroke center, primary stroke center or acute stroke ready hospital. Additionally, the state’s Emergency Medical Services Councils would modify the emergency medical response system to ensure that stroke patients may be quickly identified, transported to, and treated in facilities that have specialized programs for providing timely and effective treatment for stroke patients. The bill also would create a stroke registry to help track statewide outcomes.

Dr. Mitchell Elkind, professor of neurology and epidemiology, head of the Division of Neurology Clinical Outcomes Research and Population Sciences at Columbia University, and spokesman with the American Stroke Association said, “The American Stroke Association is deeply grateful for Senator Murphy’s leadership in our unified goal to improve stroke care in New York. This legislation championed by Senator Murphy will establish the model stroke center hospital designation that many other states are currently implementing. It’s time that New York embraces this standard of care so that all New Yorkers will be able to benefit from the best possible stroke treatment.”

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

Senators Involved