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CMS to Focus on Stroke Care in U.S. Hospitals
Date:8/27/2009

Hospitals can meet the new CMS requirement by participating in the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke quality improvement program

DALLAS, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new rule from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS Final FY 2010 Rule) focuses on improving stroke patient care in hospitals. Beginning 2010, hospitals submitting Medicare claims for stroke must let CMS know if they participate in a database registry for stroke care, such as that maintained by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) quality improvement initiative.

The rule also identifies stroke care quality measures hospitals could be required to report for reimbursement beginning in 2012. The same measures have been part of Get With The Guideline-Stroke since 2001.

Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the GWTG National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, says the final rule incorporates what the American Heart Association has long advocated as important for improving stroke care at the nation's hospitals.

"CMS has a series of measurements that they require hospitals to provide in order to receive increased reimbursement under a program called Reporting of Hospital Quality Data for Annual Payment Update," Schwamm said. "Prior to this August, there were no measures that were specific for stroke, which is the third largest killer in the United States and one of the major causes of hospitalization."

The American Heart Association has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Joint Commission to hone in on the most important measures for evidence-based stroke care.

"Basically, these are the things that we all agree should be done for ev
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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