TKF Supports House Bill 4015

A picture of the Texas State Capitol Building

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a silent but deadly killer. It is often undiagnosed in those who are affected, as it has no symptoms until its later stages. The solution to CKD mitigation is the establishment of the Rita Littlefield Chronic Kidney Disease Centralized Resource Center in the Department of State Health Services as described in HB4015.

HB4015 has three main functions:

  • Reduce the risk of kidney failure.
  • Improve access to and quality of person-centered treatment options.
  • Increase access to kidney transplants.

Every day in the U.S. 130 people who are living with diabetes begin treatment for kidney failure, a disease that has a devastating impact in communities throughout Texas and across the nation. As a leader of the charge to stop the CKD epidemic, Texas Kidney Foundations’ mission is to improve the health and well-being of people at risk or affected by kidney disease through education, prevention, and support.

Endorsement of HB4015 is a vote that will:

  • Reduce the long-term economic impact of CKD and ESRD.
  • Improve the quality of life for patients with CKD/ESRD through education, research, prevention, and transplantation resources.
  • Close the gap in education for primary care physicians.
  • Create a statewide patient registry which will allow for quick and easy dissemination of information to the kidney community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the vulnerability of the underserved communities throughout the nation. Of those hospitalized with COVID-19, 46 percent of them are leaving the hospital with some stage of kidney disease. If the hospitalized population is reflective of the non-hospitalized population, we anticipate a significant increase in the need for the components that will encompass the Rita Littlefield Resource Center.

In 2017, treating Medicare beneficiaries with CKD cost the United States over $84 billion, and treating patients with ESRD cost an additional $36 billion resulting in total health care expenditures of $120 billion towards kidney disease. Texas’s ESRD incidence rate exceeds the national rate. We represent 10.3 percent of the nation’s total ESRD patient population.

We are concerned about the impact that the CKD epidemic has had on access to care for people with diabetes and hypertension.  The populations are at high risk for COVID-19 and other health crises.  According to the Center for Disease Control, early detection and intervention are critically needed. Patients who progress to stage 3 kidney disease are ten times more likely to die from any cause than to progress to dialysis.  The ten-year mortality of a patient with diabetes, albuminuria, and impaired glomerular filtration rate is 47%.

HB4015 is aligned with TKF’s mission and an example of the organization’s vision. TKF programs and activities provide the proof of concept that early detection, education, and support are vital to the mitigation of kidney disease.

Please submit comments related to HB4015 sharing your perspectives on the Bill. You can do so without testifying in person by visiting the following link: