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Medicare to Reimburse for Telestroke Regardless of Location

Analysis  |  By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   February 20, 2018

There's also a strong financial impetus for producing more efficient stroke care.

According to the CDC, stroke costs the United States about $34 billion a year, including the cost of healthcare services, medicines to treat stroke, and missed work days. Annually, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke.

The CDC also says that stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability, and that stroke reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and over.

"You can imagine the immense cost that comes from that," Kissela says.

Related: Telehealth Is More Disruptive Than We May Think

Numerous studies have shown that telestroke services can improve outcomes, including one at Kaiser Permanente's EDs in Northern California.

Meanwhile, though, individual states are still grappling with telemedicine reimbursement in general, such as Missouri, where its House of Representatives is discussing looser telemedicine rules.

The FAST Act will be implemented in 2021.

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.

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