FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/03/2011
Rep. Gutierrez files legislation to permanently establish the Diabetes Registry in Bexar County
AUSTIN- Representative Roland Gutierrez filed House Bill 727 which will grant permanent authorization for Bexar County to continue the Diabetes Registry program beyond the current expiration date of September 1, 2011. The bill will ensure that the consent process is an "opt-out consent" to ease burdens on patients and physicians to collect and report data. Along with ensuring all data reported is considered confidential and not subject to the public records request.
Diabetes is a chronic disease which has reached epidemic proportions nationwide. In the San Antonio area, the problem continues to be especially high among the Hispanic populations and is still growing. "We need to effectively reduce the health and economic burdens of diabetes in Texas," stated Representative Roland Gutierrez. An estimated 1.8 million adult Texans have been diagnosed with diabetes and another 460,040 adults were believed to be undiagnosed. Representative Gutierrez said "There is urgency on behalf of the health care community in the fight against diabetes. With increased awareness, earlier diagnosis, and improved patient care, lives will be saved." Diabetes costs the state $12.5 billion annually in health care costs and lost productivity. It is the sixth leading cause of death in Texas overall, and the fourth leading cause for Hispanics and African Americans.
Senator Leticia Van de Putte has filed a companion bill in the Senate, Senate Bill 510.
Margaret Frain Wallace