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New York State Hospital Stroke Designation

April 25, 2018 - The New York State Department of Health (DOH) will use a rulemaking process to update its stroke designation program in 2019. The current DOH stroke program has a single tier for designating hospitals, is voluntary, and operates with DOH oversight, but without any regulatory guidance to administer the program.

While New York State stroke outcomes are among the best performing in the US, DOH and the New York State Stroke Advisory Workgroup have recommended a three-tiered program to align with evolving stroke care evidence. The proposed program would encourage hospitals to obtain third-party certification for the highest level of stroke care they can deliver and would include primary stroke center, thrombectomy-ready stroke center, and comprehensive stroke center designations. While certification would be voluntary through designation, DOH's goal would be to provide the appropriate level of care for patients with suspected strokes by ensuring they receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time. 

DOH is vetting the certification programs below to determine which ones will satisfy the new State stroke designation program requirements it will propose. Currently, the following organizations provide stroke center certification:
• The Joint Commission Stroke Center Certification
• DNV-GL Stroke Care Certification Programs
• Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program Stroke Certification
• Center for Healthcare Improvement Stroke Certification

Given the amount of coordination and preparation required prior to implementing a new stroke designation program, DOH anticipates a two-year transition period to ensure regions have sufficient time to prepare.

DOH anticipates having draft stroke regulations for public comment later this year.