SB 349 is dangerous
It will disrupt access to life-saving dialysis treatment
- Just one missed dialysis appointment means a 30% increase in mortality. Sixty thousand Californians with kidney failure require dialysis at least three days a week for 3 to 4 hours for the rest of their lives or until transplant.
- SB 349 would result in significantly fewer available appointment times and dialysis clinic closures. According to a statewide survey conducted by the California Dialysis Council (CDC):
- 15,379 patients could lose their current access to dialysis care
- 121 dialysis clinics are at risk of closing statewide
- 63% of evening and overnight (nocturnal dialysis) treatment shifts are at risk of elimination.
- Individuals on dialysis already have difficulty finding available treatment options. SB 349 will reduce the availability of treatment slots, increasing hospitalizations and emergency room visits and resulting in less flexibility for working patients as evening and nighttime treatments are jeopardized.
SB 349 is costly
It will add hundreds of millions in costs annually to an already fragile healthcare delivery system, including Medi-Cal
- SB 349 would increase costs to California’s healthcare system by hundreds of millions of dollars per year. In fact, an analysis by California’s former Director of Finance found SB 349 would increase costs to care for Medi-Cal patients by as much as $270,000,000 per year. This means higher costs for an already strained Medi-Cal system, higher costs for patients and reduced clinic access.
- In fact, 90% of dialysis patients in California rely on a combination of Medi-Cal and Medicare for coverage.
SB 349 is unnecessary
California dialysis care ranks among the highest in the nation for clinical quality and outcomes
- California’s dialysis clinics currently rank among the highest in the nation for quality and patient satisfaction, according to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In fact, according to CMS data, California dialysis clinics outperform states with mandatory ratios in both clinical quality and patient satisfaction.
- Caregivers at dialysis clinics are in the same room with their patients – never more than a few feet away, unlike other healthcare facilities where caregivers rotate visits to patients in different rooms.
- Dialysis clinics are already highly regulated and regularly inspected, consistent with federal regulations. In addition, the CMS-affiliated End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks of Southern and Northern California actively collect and monitor real-time clinic data on patient outcomes, and have established a formal grievance system for any patient complaints.
- Patient outcomes continue to improve. The two most important clinical metrics for individuals on dialysis – hospitalizations and mortality rate – have both improved over the past ten years (hospitalizations down by 21%, mortality rates down by 25%).