Monday, March 9, 2015

Stroke care bill heading to governor

FRANKFORT—A bill that would require the state to post a list of all Kentucky stroke hospitals and stroke centers online and distribute the list to local emergency services providers is on its way to becoming law.

Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Sen. Stan Humphries, R-Cadiz, and Senate President Pro Tem David Givens, R-Greensburg, received final passage in by a vote of 99-0 in the House. It now goes to the governor for his signature.

Specifically, the bill would require that a list of all acute stroke ready hospitals, comprehensive stroke centers, and primary stroke centers in Kentucky be posted to the web site of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and be distributed to emergency medical services providers, whose directors would be required to create protocols for assessment and treatment of stroke patients before the patients reach the hospital. 

The bill would also expand the types of stroke-care certification available to hospitals across the Commonwealth, building on a 2010 law that requires Kentucky to recognize certified primary stroke centers.

Kentucky currently has two comprehensive stroke centers—one at the University of Louisville and one at the University of Kentucky—and around 21 total certified stroke hospitals, according to Rep. David Watkins, D-Henderson, who presented SB 10 for a vote in the House.

“Having a stroke system of care in Kentucky is an important component of our health care delivery system,” said Watkins, a physician. “I feel like this is an extremely good bill.”

The Cabinet reports that stroke accounted for two percent, or 12,024, of all hospitalizations in Kentucky in 2010, and that Kentucky had the 11th highest stroke death rate in the country in 2009.

SB 10 passed the Senate unanimously on Feb. 5.