BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — In our ongoing Election 2022 coverage, 23ABC continues to break down the ballot propositions that will be decided by voters over the next two weeks. Proposition 29 asks voters to consider kidney dialysis care centers and clinic transparency.
The Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West introduced the proposition. If passed, it would require physicians and nurses to be present at the facility while patients are receiving dialysis treatment, and telehealth services would only be allowed in certain cases.
Dialysis companies would have to disclose infection data to the state, as well as which physicians have an ownership interest in the clinics.
Proposition 29 passing would also ensure that any patient could seek treatment at these clinics mo matter their income or insurer, and dialysis clinics would need approval by the state to close.
Supporter of the proposition say this would provide transparency when it comes to private, for-profit kidney dialysis clinics. They argue that despite high profits, these clinics don’t invest in quality patient care and safety.
Advocates of the measure also say adding a qualified medical official to current clinic staff would ensure proper care for any medical complication arising during the hours-long dialysis process, which could reduce hospitalizations.
Opponents of Proposition 29 argue that the dialysis companies already provide quality care and safety to patients, and that infection data is already reported to the federal government. They also say that adding physicians to staff would cost more money, which could cause some clinics to have to restrict their hours or close their doors entirely.
The cost of passing Proposition 29 would fall mostly to private, for-profit dialysis clinics, who would have to hire additional medical staff. That expense would be in the low tens of millions of dollars to the clinics.