Ask Legislators to co-sponsor the FAST Act
Stroke issues continue to be at the top of the agenda in
Washington, DC, and your voice is needed more than ever! Members of Congress are considering important
legislation that, if passed, would increase the speed of diagnosis and
treatment for patients experiencing a stroke.
The Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act would achieve
this goal by expanding access to telestroke technology to those who need it
Stroke telemedicine, also referred to as telestroke, is a
means of remotely diagnosing and monitoring stroke through the use of
electronic communication devices such as videoconferencing or smartphones. Telestroke technology can connect patients
having a stroke with stroke specialists around the country who can provide
quicker, more accurate diagnoses. They
can also recommend courses of treatment to emergency medical personnel on the
ground. Speed is critical when assessing
and treating a stroke; the faster a patient receives treatment, the better the
chance of survival and minimizing long-term disability. Unfortunately, access
to these telestroke services are limited, as Medicare covers telestroke
services only if they are provided in a rural hospital.
Fortunately, some Members
of Congress are working to expand access to telestroke technology for those who
need it most. In May, Senator Kirk
(IL), a stroke survivor himself, introduced the Furthering Access to Stroke
Telemedicine (FAST) Act in the U.S. Senate.
This bill requires Medicare to cover telestroke services regardless of
location, ultimately making it easier for patients to connect with specialists. Congressman Griffith (VA-09) introduced similar
legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives with Congresswoman Beatty
(OH-03), another stroke survivor.
We ask that you
contact you Members of Congress today and urge them to co-sponsor the FAST Act
(S. 1465/H.R. 2799). With their
support, we can increase the speed of diagnosis and treatment for stroke patients
The few minutes it takes for you to contact your members of
Congress will have a lasting impact. We’ve provided everything you’ll need,
including a draft letter for you to personalize. Join the rest of the stroke
community in asking Congress to expand access to telestroke services.
Click the Take Action button at the bottom of this
page to send your elected officials the message shown below.
Even though the
message begins Dear [Representative/Senator], the names of your elected
officials will be automatically filled in before the message is delivered to
them. To do that:
Please Co-sponsor the FAST Act (s. 1465/H.R. 2799)
I write today to urge you to co-sponsor the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act of 2015 (s. 1465/H.R. 2799). This important legislation will ensure patients suffering a stroke in remote or underserved areas of the country can receive timely diagnosis and effective treatment.Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Research indicates that fast diagnosis and treatment is critical to minimizing post-stroke disability, and the time it takes to provide treatment can often mean the difference between life and death. Thus, we must continue to search for ways to treat stroke patients more quickly, especially those patients in remote or underserved areas of the country.
Thank you,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.