Tell California Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics to Represent RDs Voices & Oppose SB349
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California Senate Bill 349 looks for a solution to a problem that does not exist. The California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is currently working to misrepresent Renal Dietitians Voices and support this catastrophic public health bill that would impact patients by closing clinics in the most vulnerable of places in the Golden State.
This bill is attempting to unnecessarily amend current staffing ratios within the clinic, claiming current conditions are unsafe to treat patients. This is completely untrue. There are already strict guidelines set by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding staffing ratios for PCTs and nurses on the treatment floor. The 4:1 teammate-to-patient ratio (for PCTs) is completely manageable to provide safe and effective treatment for our patients. Additionally, the 12:1 nurse-to-patient ratio is also adequate to provide safe and effective treatment. Furthermore, there is no evidence that regulations with specific nurse to patient staffing ratios, or technician staffing ratios, have led to greater safety or improved outcomes. Furthermore, independent federal data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show that California dialysis clinics perform better in both clinical quality and patient satisfaction than other states, including states with mandatory staffing ratios.
Under SB349, a dialysis facility is to close operations if the unrealistic staffing ratios are unmet. This is very concerning for a number of reasons:
1. If the dialysis facility is to shut down, where will patients be able to receive dialysis?
2. The only other option for patients to treat would be at local hospitals. So this would be a costly burden not just to the patient, but to emergency services and hospitals statewide. Hospitals are already ill-equipped to accept this number of patients and are already suffering from lack of staffing to provide medical services for the current population.
3. Patients will not be able to receive dialysis, period. This will increase their chance of hospitalization by 40% and their chance of death will increase twofold.
The inflexible nature of SB349 also means that a dialysis clinic can no longer work on an individual basis with patients to re-schedule treatments as needed (for reasons such as: transportation issues, doctor’s appointments, vacations, or other emergencies). This, too, will increase hospitalization and risk of death for the patients. As it stands right now, clinics able to work with patients to find times to best meet their needs, improving their health.
The claims of increased hospitalizations and deaths by SEIU are false, however if passed this would increase both deaths and hospitalizations, and for patients in small rural areas sentence them to early mortality. California dialysis care already ranks among the highest in the nation for clinical quality and outcomes. SB 349 plays politics with the life-saving dialysis treatment that tens of thousands of Californians need to survive. The dialysis clinic staff ratios and longer “time outs” between treatments would reduce patient access to care while increasing costs to Medi-Cal and California’s overall healthcare system.
Renal dietitians, pcts, physicians, and nurses have reached out to legislators in opposition of this bill. Renal Dietitians continue to reach out to CAND Public policy Vice President to express their concerns and opposition to CAND supporting SB 349, but CAND has decided to NOT represent their membership. If CAND and AND is a representation of the membership then CAND should listen to Renal Dietitians, physicians, and health care workers in the field of dialysis, the experts on the ground and not support SB 349. Help us make CAND represent their membership and our legislators represent their constituents voices correctly. Stand with the patients, physicians, healthcare workers and dietitians in opposition to CAND supporting SB 349 and to Legislators passing this catastrophic public health bill.
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