Re: Support for AB 1448
Dear Chairman Wood and Vice Chairman Mayes:
With 32,000 dialysis patient members, over 4,000 of whom reside in California, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) is the nation’s largest patient-led organization representing individuals with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). On behalf of California’s 70,000 ESRD patients and the DPC Board of Directors, I am writing to express our strong support for AB 1448 which would improve quality and oversight standards at certain dialysis facilities.
I am a lifelong resident of California and currently serve as the Secretary for the Board of Directors for DPC. I have been on and off of dialysis since I was 12 years old after I was diagnosed with kidney failure as a result of a bicycle accident. I was lucky enough to receive a transplant from my mother which lasted for seven years until my body rejected it in 2000. I went back on dialysis and had to wait over ten years to receive a new transplant. Throughout my years of receiving dialysis at facilities in California, I was pleased at both the quality of care as well as the delivery of care, but like all areas of health care services, I believe there is room for improvement.
AB 1448 would require the State Department of Public Health to inspect each licensed chronic dialysis clinic that receives a 1- or 2-star quality rating as determined by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Five-Star Quality Rating System at least once per calendar year, until the clinic attains at least a 3-star rating. It would also require the department to conduct any additional inspection that the department deems necessary to ensure the continuation of high-quality medical care for dialysis patients.
While 3 out of 4 dialysis patients are satisfied with the care they are receiving at their dialysis facility (based on DPC’s 2018 Annual Membership Survey results below), at DPC we are still constantly looking for possible areas of improvement. In fact, of all the different legislative proposals which have been introduced in this Assembly which claim to improve services at dialysis facilities, we believe AB 1448 is the only one which actually does.
AB 1448 is a commonsense proposal which would ensure dialysis facilities are meeting high quality standards and would improve the overall experience for dialysis patients. As your Committee continues to explore ways to improve service to and the lives of dialysis patients, we respectfully would request your immediate consideration and support of AB 1448.
Secretary and Board Member
Dialysis Patient Citizens