Dialysis Clinic Staffing Ratio Bill Stopped

Bill Could Have Increased Health Care Costs Without Improving Patient Health Outcomes and Access to Care. 

A California Chamber of Commerce-opposed bill that could have substantially increased health care costs, without offering significant improvements in health outcomes or patient access is dead for the year.

On Friday, Senator Lara (D-Bell Gardens) announced that he would not bring the bill up for a vote on the Assembly Floor before the end of session. Senator Lara did promise to bring the bill up in 2018 after conducting stakeholder meetings.

SB 349 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) would have set staffing ratios for California dialysis facilities at a ratio stricter than any in the entire country. The bill also mandated the Department of Public Health to issue regulations setting an appropriate minimum transition time between dialysis patients and if one was not set by 2020, the bill mandated a 45-minute transition time between dialysis patients.

CalChamber opposed SB 349 because it would have significantly increased health care costs, reduced the availability of dialysis clinics and patient shifts at clinics and resulted in job losses with no clear evidence of a clinical benefit to patients.

September 15 is the last day for each house to pass bills to the Governor’s desk.