September 8, 2017
For Immediate Release: September 8, 2017
Contact: Kathy Fairbanks, 916-443-0872
DialysisPatients1st statement on Senator Lara announcement that SB 349 (dialysis ratios) will not be taken up for vote this year.
SACRAMENTO – DialysisPatients1st, a coalition of thousands of doctors, nurses, patients, veterans, hospitals, dialysis caregivers, clinics and others opposed to SB 349 today expressed satisfaction that Senator Ricardo Lara, the author of the bill, planned to suspend a vote on the dialysis clinic staffing bill and make it a two-year bill.
“We are grateful that legislators heard the concerns of thousands of California doctors, nurses, dialysis caregivers, patients, local clinics and many others who contacted their legislators to warn that SB 349 would be dangerous for dialysis patients and costly for Medi-Cal,” said Mark Shapiro, MD, a San Diego nephrologist who testified against the bill in the Assembly Health Committee. “SB 349 would have reduced access to dialysis at a time when we should be doing everything we can to increase access to life-saving treatment.”
SB 349, sponsored by the United Healthcare Workers West union, mandates mandatory staffing ratios in dialysis clinics in California. Analyses of the legislation found the bill would have jeopardized dialysis access for more than 15,000 patients and cost the state Medi-Cal program as much as $270 million annually.
Proponents were unable to provide any evidence that staffing ratios lead to better care. In fact, evidence from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shows that, on average, California dialysis clinics outperform the rest of the nation in both quality of patient care and in patient satisfaction.
SB 349 is opposed by more than 50 groups and editorial boards across the state.
Visit www.DialysisPatients1st.com for more background on SB 349 and the opposition coalition.