TKF Supports Senate Bill 1876

A picture of the Texas State Capitol Building

Texas Senate Bill 1876, the bill to be entitled an Act authored by Miles and Huffman, is the first step toward a coordinated effort that prioritizes the most vulnerable among us. Our constituency of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients includes over 57,000 Texans. Their lives are dependent upon a therapeutic treatment called dialysis.

SB1876 amends section 38.072 of the Utilities Code to give priority to facilities that service kidney patients and other vulnerable populations during a crisis. We believe SB1876 is important to the sustained health and well-being of kidney patients throughout Texas. The extreme February winter freeze exposed the dire need for coordination between the Texas public utilities commission and the healthcare infrastructure.

Each healthcare service facility and system in the state has a crisis management plan. They all take seriously the responsibility of caring for our citizens. The fissures that were exposed by the extreme February winter freeze transcend all members of our population. Preparation is imperative and should include prioritization, communication, and collaboration amongst the entities that serve the citizens of our great state.

The endorsement of SB1876 is a vote that will include:

  • Prioritization – SB1876 prioritizes End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) facilities
  • Communication – SB1876 creates a comprehensive crisis management plan that includes close communication between the utility’s infrastructure and healthcare infrastructure for our vulnerable populations
  • Collaboration – SB1876 ensures continued collaboration to provide coordination of care and transportation for the vulnerable populations during a disaster

The state’s utility infrastructure is vital to the execution of all crisis management strategies. Dialysis patients are among the most vulnerable in the state as their treatment is a 3-5-hour process which requires 39 – 47 gallons of clean water per patient. The process must be repeated three to four times weekly. Without water, pressure per square inch of said water and electricity, the dialysis facilities cannot dialyze patients.