ST. LOUIS – A major new study from Washington University shows a huge gap between urban and rural patients in the quality of care after a stroke. Investigators found that patients were less likely to receive two advanced stroke treatments available: intravenous thrombolysis and endovascular therapy. Stroke treatment is based on timing. Clot-busting drugs must be administered within the first three hours after the onset of symptoms such as face drooping and slurred speech. The further away you lived from an urban center, the greater the survival threat became. Researchers say rural patients are often delayed in getting to the hospital. They may not be diagnosed properly or sent to a specialist in a timely manner. The goal of the study was to influence policymakers to make sure equal health care coverage is provided to all people across the country no matter where they live.