CHAPTER 299

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 378

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO HOSPITALS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

WHEREAS, despite significant advances in diagnosis, treatment and prevention, stroke remains the third-leading cause of death in this country, with an estimated 700,000 to 750,000 new and recurrent strokes occurring each year in the United States; and

WHEREAS, with an estimated 1160 new and recurrent strokes occurring each year in Delaware, stroke is the third-leading cause of death in this State; and

WHEREAS, the number of strokes occurring in Delaware is projected to increase as the population of this State ages and the number of elderly Delaware residents increases; and

WHEREAS, although new treatments are available to improve the clinical outcomes of stroke, many acute care hospitals lack the necessary staff and equipment to optimally triage and treat stroke patients; and

WHEREAS, in order to increase survival rates and decrease the disabilities associated with stroke, there is a public health need for acute care hospitals in this State to establish stroke centers to ensure the rapid triage, diagnostic evaluation and treatment of patients suffering a stroke; and

WHEREAS, primary stroke centers should be established in as many acute care hospitals as possible; these centers would evaluate, stabilize and provide emergency care to patients suffering acute stroke and then, depending on the patient’s level of need and the center’s capabilities, either admit the patient and provide inpatient care or transfer the patient to a comprehensive stroke center; and

WHEREAS, the General Assembly encourages all Delaware hospitals to consider voluntarily pursuing designation as a primary stroke center.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 10, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by adding a new “§1019” thereto as follows:

Ҥ1019. Designation of Hospitals as Primary Stroke Centers.

(a) The Secretary of Health and Social Services shall designate as a primary stroke center any hospital which has received a Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers issued by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

(b) The Secretary shall suspend or revoke a hospital’s distinction as a primary stroke center if the JCAHO suspends or revoke’s a hospital’s Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stoke Center.”

          Section 2. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2009.

Approved July 3, 2008