Calif. bill requires staffing minimums for dialysis clinics
The California Senate has introduced legislation that would impose staffing requirements and yearly inspections on the state’s 562 dialysis facilities.
The bill, which passed the state Senate health committee last week, addresses concerns that nurses are overworked at dialysis centers, leading to subpar care for patients. But dialysis providers oppose the bill, saying it is too restrictive and won’t improve care.
Currently, dialysis clinics in California are inspected every six years on average, according to state Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democrat and lead sponsor of the bill.
While most states—including California—allow dialysis centers to determine appropriate staff levels, the bill would require dialysis clinics to employ one nurse for every eight patients. In addition, social workers could not be assigned more than 75 patients per clinic.
Only seven states currently require minimum staffing requirements at dialysis centers. The California bill also goes further, mandating a 45-minute transition time between patients at treatment stations. That transition period would allow staff to take breaks and clean up stations between treatments.