Initiative would endanger dialysis sufferers’ lives
California physicians pay shut consideration to insurance policies that negatively affect sufferers and reduce entry to high quality well being care. Proposition 8 could be as dangerous for sufferers as something we’ve got seen in a very long time.
Proposition 8 would put the lives of weak dialysis sufferers at excessive danger by inflicting extreme cutbacks in providers and even outright closure of dialysis clinics statewide.
To remain alive, dialysis sufferers want remedy thrice per week for 3 to 4 hours at a time. Dialysis is so crucial that only one missed remedy will increase the mortality danger by 30 %.
If this initiative was to develop into regulation, they might have a tougher time accessing a clinic for his or her life-saving remedy.
That’s why Proposition 8 has drawn the condemnation of my group, the 43,000-physician-member California Medical Affiliation, and quite a few well being care leaders, together with the American Nurses Affiliation/California, California Hospital Affiliation, emergency room physicians, renal physicians, dialysis caregivers, affected person advocacy teams, neighborhood teams, veterans and others.
Proposition 8 would set severely low limits on what insurance coverage corporations are required to reimburse to dialysis clinics for remedies. These limits are arbitrary and wouldn’t cowl the price of offering high-quality care in a clinic.
Proposition 8 would particularly prohibit clinics from billing for needed bills similar to doctor medical administrators, nurse managers, nurse medical coordinators and different workers positions and providers crucial to operating a secure and environment friendly clinic.
A research by the previous California Legislative Analyst estimated that 83 % of clinics could be working within the crimson if Proposition 8 passes. If clinics can’t cowl their needed working prices, they must in the reduction of providers or shut down. Dialysis sufferers would lose entry to life-saving care.
Residing with kidney failure and being depending on dialysis remedy is severe. The U.S. Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies report that the typical age of a dialysis affected person in California is 62.
Along with having failed kidneys, many produce other ailments similar to hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart illness or most cancers.
With out outpatient clinics close by to offer life-saving remedy, the one different possibility for sufferers to get dialysis thrice per week could be in crowded hospital emergency rooms, the place the identical remedy prices considerably extra and would unnecessarily burden your complete well being care system.
In California, high quality and affected person satisfaction in dialysis clinics rank among the many highest within the nation. California dialysis clinics are extremely regulated on the federal and state ranges to make sure high quality. Amenities endure rigorous reporting and overview. California clinics outperform the nationwide common in medical high quality and affected person satisfaction, the Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies experiences.
Proposition 8’s supporters refuse to acknowledge that this irresponsible initiative would power dialysis clinics to function within the crimson, which might set off layoffs, clinic closures and a harmful diminution in entry to high quality dialysis remedy.
It’s possible you’ll be questioning why Californians are being requested to weigh in on such a private and sophisticated well being care subject that can hurt dialysis sufferers.
There is no such thing as a good purpose that is on the poll. To be clear, affected person care isn’t the motive of supporters as they declare. The motive is political, and a spokesman for the United Healthcare Staff West union, which is funding Sure on Proposition 8, admitted as a lot not too long ago to the San Francisco Chronicle.
In our view, there isn’t any acceptable situation to place sufferers in hurt’s approach to obtain a political goal.
We should shield dialysis sufferers’ entry to life-saving dialysis remedy. Please vote no on Proposition 8.
Dr. Theodore M. Mazer is president of the California Medical Affiliation and a board-certified otolaryngologist who has been working in a solo apply in San Diego for greater than 25 years. He wrote this commentary for CALmatters.