CDC and ESRD News


Date ArticleType
CDC Update on Ballot Initiative and LA County Fee Increase

CDC Report - March 2018
Dear CDC Members,
Below is a brief report from the California Dialysis Council's Board Meeting held in February 2018.
In This Issue
Our Corporate Members

CDC Annual Conference

March 22-44, 2018

Omni Rancho Las Palmas

The 36th annual conference is only days away! We have a full agenda including a reception, silent auction and raffle, exhibitor hall, and more.

Haven’t registered yet? Be sure to do so by March 16. 

Save the Dates
- Legislative Day on May 1 at the Sutter Club in Sacramento

- CDC Board meeting on June 15 at the Embassy Suites LAX North
Legislative Update

Likely Fee Increase for LA County Facilities

An Assembly Budget Subcommittee met recently to review the Governor’s proposed budget for 2018-2019.  Key discussions relating to license fees for dialysis clinics include the following:

  • Approximately one third of all licensed and certified health care facilities are located in LA County. 
  • For over 30 years, the Department of Public Health has contracted with LA County to perform federal certification and state licensing surveys, and investigate complaints for the 2,900 health care facilities in the LA County area.  DPH is proposing to extend the current contract for an additional year (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019), and is requesting an additional $1.9 million to fund the extension. 
  • DPH is requesting to assess a supplemental license fee on facilities located in LA County to offset additional costs.  The proposed supplemental fee will prevent the need to increase licensee fees on facilities statewide, allow facilities in LA County to receive services comparable to other facilities statewide, and ensure that facilities pay license fees that are more commensurate with their regulatory costs.   
  • The proposal would mean that general statewide dialysis facility license fees remain at $3,407.02, while facilities in LA County will be required to pay a supplemental fee of $1,019.96, for a total fee of $4,426.98.  
  • No vote was held at the hearing.Arnold & Associates will monitor the issue and discussions, which will continue until the budget is final in mid-June.   
Update on the Potential Ballot Measure

The below is taken from a February 28, 2018 Patients and Caregivers to Protect Dialysis Patients press release:

SACRAMENTO - A broad coalition of doctors, nurses, patients, caregivers, veterans, and other health care providers announced today it plans to fight on behalf of California dialysis patients to oppose the deeply-flawed dialysis ballot measure likely on the November 2018 California statewide ballot.
Patients and Caregivers to Protect Dialysis Patients will lead opposition to the ballot initiative being bankrolled by the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) union. The proposition sets new, arbitrary limits on what insurance companies pay for dialysis care. In doing so, the initiative would dangerously reduce access to care for Californians with kidney failure who need dialysis treatments three days a week, three to four hours at a time, to survive. Missing even one dialysis treatment increases the risk of patient mortality by 30 percent.
At a time when the number of Californians needing dialysis is increasing by about five percent per year and patients already have difficulty finding dialysis clinics close to home, this measure would result in clinic cutbacks and even closures, jeopardizing access to care. The initiative itself is an abuse of  California’s ballot measure process as UHW is using it as part of a broader corporate campaign against the dialysis provider community. The union is seeking to organize dialysis workers and has so far been unsuccessful.
 Dr. Bryan Wong, a practicing kidney doctor in the East Bay as well as Board member and past president of the California Dialysis Council, which represents hundreds of dialysis clinics throughout California said: “UHW is using the threat of a terrible ballot initiative to try to force dialysis providers into complying with their union organizing demands. While a union has every right to try to organize workers, it is wrong, irresponsible, and dangerous for UHW to use patients as pawns in this endeavor.”
The UHW initiative limits what insurance companies pay to dialysis clinics for patient treatments. The limits require community dialysis clinics to issue annual rebates to private health insurance companies if any charge exceeds 115 percent of so-called “patient care services costs.” And yet, nothing in the initiative requires insurance companies to pass even one dollar of these rebates on to consumers. The proposition’s definition of “patient care services costs” does not cover the actual cost of providing care at a clinic and excludes many necessary costs —including  those important to patient care such as the physician medical director and the nurse clinical coordinator. If necessary dialysis clinic costs aren’t accounted for, clinics will be forced to cut back services or close, leaving patients with limited options for getting life-saving dialysis care.
As dialysis clinics shut down, more patients will seek treatment in the more expensive hospital setting or suffer severe complications from missing treatments, ending up in hospital emergency rooms. That means more ER and hospital overcrowding, and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in higher costs for Medi-Cal and Medicare to treat dialysis patients – and higher costs for taxpayers.
Care in California dialysis clinics consistently beats the national average. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, on average California outperforms the rest of the nation on quality of care and patient satisfaction.

California Dialysis Council, 2973 Harbor Blvd, #295, Costa Mesa, CA 92626