TITLE 23
Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-78
The Stroke Task Force

SECTION 23-78-2


§ 23-78-2 Stroke task force – Membership.

(a) The director of the department of health, with consent of the president of the senate and the speaker of the house, may appoint a stroke task force to serve as a statewide commission designed to coordinate efforts in stroke treatment and prevention. The director may assign staff, upon availability of funds, to assist the task force. Members appointed to the task force may include:

(1) Four (4) physicians actively involved in stroke care, with at least one (1) from each of the following fields:

(i) Neurology;

(ii) Neuroradiology;

(iii) Neurosurgery; and

(iv) Emergency care;

(2) One (1) registered professional nurse or nurse practitioner actively involved in stroke care;

(3) One (1) physician's assistant actively involved in stroke care;

(4) One (1) hospital administrator or designee from each hospital that is designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Treatment Center by the National Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations;

(5) One (1) representative from the EMS Ambulance Service Advisory Board;

(6) One (1) representative from the public health field actively involved in public health education on stroke appointed by the director;

(7) One (1) representative from a stroke rehabilitation facility appointed by the director;

(8) One (1) stroke survivor or caregiver appointed by the director;

(9) One (1) representative from the American Stroke Association;

(10) One (1) representative from Rhode Island Quality Partners or state-recognized Quality Improvement Organization (QIO); and

(11) One (1) representative from a minority health organization involved in stroke care.

(b) The task force shall advise the Rhode Island general assembly, the governor, and director of the department of health and have the following duties:

(1) Undertake a statistical and qualitative examination of the incidence and causes of stroke deaths and risks, including identification of sub-populations at highest risk for developing stroke and develop a profile of the social and economic burden of stroke in Rhode Island;

(2) Receive and consider reports and testimony from individuals, state department of health, community-based organizations, voluntary health organizations, healthcare providers, and other public and private organizations statewide and of national significance to stroke to learn more about their contributions to stroke prevention and treatment and their ideas for the improvement of stroke care in Rhode Island;

(3) Develop methods to publicize the profile of stroke burden and its preventability in Rhode Island;

(4) Identify research-based strategies that are effective in preventing and controlling risks for stroke based on the science available from the American Stroke Association and related organizations;

(5) Determine the burden that delayed or inappropriate treatment has on the quality of patients' lives and the associated financial burden on them and the state;

(6) Study the economic impact of early stroke treatment with regard to quality of care, reimbursement issues, and rehabilitation;

(7) Research and determine what constitutes high quality for stroke and take action to ensure that the public and healthcare providers are sufficiently informed of the most effective strategies for stroke care;

(8) Evaluate the current system of treatment and develop recommendations to improve all aspects of the stroke chain of survival;

(9) Research and determine the most appropriate method to collect data which shall include a record of the cases of stroke that occur in Rhode Island and such information concerning the cases as it shall deem necessary and appropriate in order to conduct thorough and complete epidemiological surveys of stroke and to apply appropriate preventative and control measures;

(10) Identify best practices on stroke care in other states and at the federal level that will improve stroke care in Rhode Island, including the feasibility and proposed structure of developing a stroke network;

(11) Research and obtain any public or private funding available to improve stroke prevention and/or treatment in Rhode Island;

(12) Complete and maintain a statewide comprehensive stroke prevention and treatment plan to the general public, state and local officials, various public and private organizations and associations, business and industries, agencies, potential funders, and other community resources;

(13) Develop a registry of all Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Strokes that occur within the state to determine genetic and environmental contributors to strokes; and

(14) Identify and facilitate specific commitments to help implement the plan and all task force activities.

(c) The task force shall convene within one hundred and eighty (180) days of passage and shall submit a preliminary report to the department, general assembly and the governor within one (1) year of the first meeting, within two (2) years of the first meeting, and a final report within three (3) years of the first meeting. The reports shall address the plans, actions, and resources needed to achieve its goals and progress in achieving implementation of the plan to reduce the occurrence of and burden from stroke in Rhode Island. The reports shall include an accounting of funds expended, funds received from grants, and anticipated funding needs and related cost savings for full implementation of recommended plans and programs. The task force will continue to submit reports annually thereafter on their progress toward the implementation of the state plan.

(d) Any health care information requested or obtained by the task force pursuant to subsections (b)(9), (b)(13), or otherwise in the performance of its duties, shall be provided in a format that does not contain individually-identifiable information.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2004, ch. 485, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 544, § 1.)