Controversial Bill Passes And Causes Dialysis Companies To Take A Major Hit

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© ALL CREDIT TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.

UPDATE: In a shocking turn, the California Assembly’s Health Committee voted to advance A.B. 290, a measure that would limit dialysis provider profits when insurance premiums are covered by third-party payers.

Recommended Reading: Most Controversial Dialysis Patient Bill To Hit Chronic Kidney Disease Community Is Up For Vote

According to Nephrology News, the bill was introduced by State Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, chair of the health committee, less than 4 months after California Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. vetoed similar legislation that would have allowed state health regulators to cap dialysis profits. California voters also turned down the proposal at the polls in November 2018.

Recommended Reading: Sign Petition: Bill To Help Dialysis Patients Financially, Improve Care & Push Breakthroughs Forward

A.B. 290 and previous legislation to restrict dialysis profits, along with a staff-to-patient ratio bill introduced in 2017, have been supported by the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), which has been trying to unionize dialysis workers in the state. Dialysis providers DaVita Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care North America, which spent more than $100 million on helping to defeat the legislation last year, provide most of the dialysis care in the state.

Recommended Reading: New Bill To Create Better Dialysis Center Staffing And Limit Mistakes On Patients

In a statement about the vote, American Kidney Fund president and CEO LaVarne A. Burton said, “This bill puts vulnerable patients in the middle of a longstanding financial feud between insurers, unions, and providers. We hope California legislators understand the devastating consequences this legislation will have on thousands of low-income, predominantly minority Californians and reject the measure as it moves through the legislature.”

Recommended Reading: Nearly 6,000 Patients Opposing Dialysis Improvement Bill: Where Do You Stand?

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ORIGINAL: A Dialysis patient wrote to KidneyBuzz.com and said, "I just got a bill for $600.00 from my dialysis center. What the heck! I cannot afford this! I do not want to be put in collections. Is there anything that I can do?"

Recommended Reading: Dialysis And Chronic Kidney Disease Patient Improvement Bill Is Shelved

Chronic Kidney Disease patients conducting Dialysis can often feel as though they are simply another number in a "Conveyor Belt" Dialysis Facility. At times, Dialysis patients can feel both voiceless and powerless. However, new legislation passed and expected to be attempted throughout the country shows just how important Dialysis patients are and looks to offer them additional protections.

Recommended Reading: Bill Would Give Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Who Use Medicinal Marijuana Equal Transplant Rights

California recently passed Dialysis Patient Specific Legislation, SB 1156, which limits the price that Dialysis Centers will be allowed to charge patients. This is important since many patients have been getting billed directly by Dialysis Companies like DaVita Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care for charges not covered by insurance or Medicare. 

Recommended Reading: Thanks To Your Support The U.S. House Passes CKD Bill That Helps Alleviate Financial Burdens Of Dialysis Patients!

According to an editorial in the San Jose Mercury News, Medicare and Medi-Cal reimbursements for Dialysis patients fail to cover the Large Dialysis Organisations' costs so the clinics charge patients with private insurance more in order to cover all their costs and make a profit. Hence, SB 1156 will cap payments at lower Medicare rates so that patients will not have to pay additional out-of-pocket fees or seek subsidization from charities with financial ties to Dialysis Providers to cover the Companies' costs.

Recommended Reading: UPDATE - Bill Expected To Drastically Change Care For Dialysis Patients Passes Major Hurdle

With news of this common-sense legislation passing, which may also pass in additional states, Company Shares of DaVita Inc., Fresenius Medical Care, and American Renal Associates Holdings Inc. "took some punishment," according to 24/7 Wall St. DaVita was hit particularly hard.

Recommended Reading: Nearly 6,000 Patients Opposing Dialysis Improvement Bill: Where Do You Stand?

Have you ever had to pay additional costs for your Dialysis care? If not, would you be willing to or do you prefer the protections outlined in SB 1156? Share your thoughts and insights with the over 72,000 Friends who have liked KidneyBuzz.com on Facebook (click here). Also, follow the over 250,000+ monthly viewers who visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly for the latest daily news and information which teach those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and Hypertension how to better manage and improve their lives. Erica Ashley Jenkins (Dialysis Nurse) said, "Hello I just wanted to let you know I work in a dialysis clinic and over half of our clinic reads this page, we enjoy everything you put on and love to have new information. My patients are very grateful."

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