Prop 23 would make changes to dialysis care requirements

Olivia Sandusky

Jeffrey Roberts, a Rancho Mirage resident, was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2018.

Today is his two year anniversary of relying on dialysis.

“Each one of us has our own attending physicians, and they work in conjunction with the center, it works very well. We have nurses on site, usually two at a time, and then a floor full of techs,” said Roberts. 

On the ballot this year is Prop 23, which would make changes to the way clinics operate.

One main change includes requiring chronic dialysis clinics to have one licensed physician present at the center while patients are being treated.

This licensed physician is in addition to the clinic’s regular staff.

Roberts says he will be voting against the measure.

“Adding somebody into the equation who maybe hasn’t examined me at all, or has only a cursory familiarity with your health situation, isn’t really ideal in a situation where you’re dealing with a life threatening illness. Adding another doctor into the mix would add that much more to what is already a difficult cost,” said Roberts. 

The group No Prop 23 also says it would make the state’s doctor shortage worse, and increases healthcare costs for taxpayers.

Main opponents to the proposition include kidney care groups like DaVita and Fresenius.

But those who support Prop 23 say health care companies haven’t invested enough in patient safety, and a licensed physician would help in emergencies.

“I’ve seen many, many, many emergency situations, we have lost some patients and maybe with a physician on site during business hours we could have saved some lives,” said Emerson Padua, a dialysis patient care technician who has worked in the industry for 24 years. 

Prop 23 also requires clinics to report infections, get approval from the state before closing and not discriminate against health insurance.

Padua says this will help keep clinics open and accessible for patients.

“One clinic actually had to close down, which meant patients had to move. A lot of these patients have to choose, you know, medication, transportation and now we have to send them to a further facility. You’re putting that stress on the patients themselves,” said Padua. 

The group Yes on 23, says that supporting this ballot could save lives, and provide more care for those relying on dialysis.

This Prop is also supported by the California Labor Federation.

A proposition about dialysis was on the ballot in 2018, but it did not pass.

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