California SB 349 will hurt veterans on dialysis

Veterans,

SB 349 will hurt veterans on dialysis! That is Why it is opposed by 12 Veterans Organizations.

  • American Legion, Department of California
  • Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council
  • American GI Forum of California
  • Military Order of the Purple Heart, Department of California
  • AMVETS, Department of California
  • National Guard Association of California
  • Military Officers Association of America, California Council of Chapters
  • California State Commanders Veterans Council
  • California Association of County Veterans Service Officers
  • Scottish-American Military Society
  • Jewish War Veterans Department of California
  • Reserve Officers Association Department of the Golden West

Please sign up for information and share with your friends and neighbors. Please see attached link.

covered by the Veterans Administration (VA). Here’s why:

VETERANS PARTICULARLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO KIDNEY FAILURE

  • It is estimated that more than 1,500 veterans in California receive dialysis treatment to stay alive.
  • Veterans have higher rates of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or kidney failure, than other patient

populations. High blood pressure and diabetes are the leading causes of ESRD. The anticipated rate of

growth of veterans on dialysis (6-10% annually) exceeds the general population.

  • As with all dialysis patients, veterans with ESRD must receive dialysis three days a week, for

approximately three hours a day to survive. Dialysis machines perform the job of the kidneys by

cleaning the blood and removing excess fluids.

  • The vast majority of veterans receive dialysis treatment in an outpatient setting through private

dialysis clinics. The VA contracts with 23 dialysis providers nationwide. This allows veterans on dialysis

to receive treatment conveniently close to home, without having to travel long distances to the VA

Medical facilities to receive treatment.

SB 349 IS DANGEROUS FOR VETERANS ON DIALYSIS – IT WILL DISRUPT ACCESS TO LIFE-SAVING

DIALYSIS TREATMENT

  • SB 349 would add significant new costs and scheduling restrictions that will result in fewer available

appointment times and possible dialysis clinic closures. According to a statewide survey conducted by

the California Dialysis Council (CDC), under SB 349:

  • 15,379 patients could lose their current access to dialysis care
  • 121 dialysis clinics are at risk of closing statewide
  • 63% of evening and overnight (nocturnal dialysis) treatment shifts are at risk of elimination.
  • Just one missed dialysis appointment means a 30% increase in mortality.
  • The reduction in access will be particularly acute for veterans that receive care in rural clinics and

clinics in disproportionately lower-income communities.

  • For veterans on dialysis, if access is restricted, they could be forced to travel further to dialyze,

which has been proven to negatively impact dialysis patient outcomes and quality of life.

SB 349 IS COSTLY – IT WILL ADD HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS IN COSTS ANNUALLY TO AN ALREADY

FRAGILE HEALTHCARE DELIVERY SYSTEM, INCLUDING COSTS FOR THE VA AND MEDI-CAL.

  • SB 349 would increase costs to California’s healthcare system by hundreds of millions of dollars per

year. This means higher costs for an already strained Medi-Cal system, higher costs for patients and

reduced clinic access.

  • For veterans on dialysis, these increased costs could mean higher costs for the individual veteran who is

forced to travel further for their care, and potentially the VA, as they procure care in a more limited

network.

SB 349 IS UNECESSARY – CALIFORNIA DIALYSIS CARE RANKS AMONG THE HIGHEST IN THE

NATION FOR CLINICAL QUALITY AND OUTCOMES

  • California’s dialysis clinics currently rank among the highest in the nation for quality and patient

satisfaction, according the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In fact, according

to CMS data, on average, California dialysis clinics outperform states with mandatory ratios in both

clinical quality and patient satisfaction.

  • Caregivers at dialysis clinics are in the same room with their patients – never more than a few feet

away, unlike other healthcare facilities where caregivers rotate visits to patients in different rooms.

No on SB 349

#Dialysis Patients 1st

1 Nonadherence in hemodialysis: Associations with mortality, hospitalization, and practice patterns in the DOPPS. (2003). Kidney

International, 64(1), 254-262. Retrieved from http://kidney-international.theisn.org/article/S0085-2538(15)49314-7/abstract?cc=y=

(Kidney International is the peer-reviewed medical journal of the International Society of Nephrology)