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Anchor lead: Barriers to universal access to telestroke services need political will to overcome, Elizabeth Tracey reports

With Zoom and other technologies employed nationally, why can’t some people who have strokes receive expert opinions on treatment and management via telestroke? A recent study clearly demonstrated improvement of outcomes when the technique is employed. Mona Bahouth, a telestroke expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the barriers.

Bahouth: This is not a new thing. Telestroke has been going for two decades now. We’ve had a lot of limitations and those limitations have really been policy, insurance and licensure limitations, meaning that you have a lot of restrictions for treating patients across state lines, if the patient’s insurance doesn’t count, so much of the onus has really fallen on to the individual hospitals to pay for this technique so I would say that it would expand greatly if we could eliminate some of those barriers like insurance barriers, licensure barriers, and that to me requires a big commitment from the community, and policy changes together.  :31

So vote for expansion of telehealth services, Bahouth says. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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