Oppose the Deeply-Flawed Dialysis Proposition

This poorly-drafted measure would dangerously reduce access to care for vulnerable patients on dialysis throughout the state.

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The Facts

This deeply-flawed dialysis measure would reduce access to care for the most vulnerable patients in California – dialysis patients who need frequent treatment to survive. The measure limits what insurance companies pay for dialysis treatments and does not account for the actual cost of providing care.


Dangerous for Dialysis Patients

Dialysis patients need treatment three days a week, for three to four hours at a time in order to survive. With demand for dialysis growing at about five percent a year in California, patients already have difficulty finding appointment times convenient and close to home. This proposition would result in clinic closures and cutbacks in services, forcing patients to travel further distances or seek treatment in a hospital, increasing the likelihood that they might miss a treatment. Research shows that missing even one dialysis appointment increases the risk of death for dialysis patients by 30%.

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Fails to Account for Actual Cost of Care

The proposition’s definition of “patient care services costs” prohibits clinics from billing insurance companies for many necessary costs for operating a clinic, including some of those required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This definition excludes:

  • physician Medical Director
  • nurse Clinical Coordinators
  • staff who help patients navigate insurance options
  • community-based kidney disease education
  • regulatory compliance
  • facility administrators
  • facility security
  • non-clinical information technology
  • professional services like accounting,
    human resources, payroll and legal
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All Patients and Taxpayers Negatively Impacted

When dialysis clinics shut down, more patients would likely seek treatment in the more expensive hospital setting or suffer severe complications from missing treatment, ending up in hospital emergency rooms. That means more ER and hospital overcrowding, and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in higher costs for Medi-Cal and Medicare to treat dialysis patients – and higher costs for taxpayers.

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Abuse of Initiative System

This proposition is being promoted by United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) union as part of a broader union-organizing strategy and pressure campaign.

Since the 2012 election cycle, UHW has spent nearly $22 million on multiple ballot measures in an attempt to further its political and financial interests.

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