Calif. bill re­quires staffing min­i­mums for dial­y­sis clin­ics

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Maria Castel­lucci

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.

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