Stroke Prevention and Care

Ischemic cerebrovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of disability in the United States. CVD causes almost 700,000 strokes annually, as well as other significant complications including dementia and transient ischemic attacks (TIA). In 2014 roughly $48 billion will be spent in the U.S. to prevent CVD and other cardiovascular diseases and to treat strokes.

Opportunities for savings

A conservative estimate of national savings from full implementation of the CERC model is $2.8 billion dollars in direct healthcare spending per year, or 6% of annual spending for treatment of cerebrovascular disease.

Safely reducing annual per capita stroke spending

The key elements of the model include:

  1. The usage of nurse-led teams to increase patient use of protective medications from 60% to >85% to prevent stroke and thereby avoid downstream costs resulting from hospital care, rehabilitation/nursing home care, and direct healthcare costs related to stroke disability
  2. The replacement of hospitalization with home-based care for most patients who have experienced a transient or mild stroke, following a brief evaluation in a hospital emergency department
  3. The application of a rapid treatment protocol to reduce the delay in the usage of clot-dissolving medication by 50 minutes for patients with severe strokes, as these patients lose an estimated 1.9 million brain cells for every minute of treatment delay