NKF Statement on the California Ballot Initiative, The Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act
All quotes for attribution to National Kidney Foundation
New York, NY—June 15, 2018 —“The Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act, a ballot initiative put forth in California by the Service Employees International Union—United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), may be well intentioned but could end up harming the very patients it seeks to help.”
“While dialysis providers have room for improvement, including the frequency of facility inspections, The Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act will not have that effect. The National Kidney Foundation opposes all cuts in funding to patients and opposes The Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act, which is a bad policy for patients.”
“Dialysis patients are among the most vulnerable of all kidney patients spending long hours, several days a week hooked up to dialysis machines at local clinics. The Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act is putting these same patients in the middle of a battle that will not benefit them.”
“The National Kidney Foundation is committed to advancing solutions and improvements in outcomes for kidney patients, but this ballot initiative is too risky for patients. All parties, including patients and providers, should come to the table for an open and honest dialogue to develop solutions that will result in a benefit to patient care. Unfortunately, the Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act will not achieve that result.”
“The ballot initiative is gambling with patients’ lives; it assumes that dialysis providers will change their business model and that this change will result in helping patients. But the ballot initiative does not clearly define how a cap in reimbursement for care will be reinvested to benefit patients or dialysis facility employees; and does not outline any oversight necessary to ensure excess funds are redirected towards benefitting patients. It further does not explain how giving money back to insurance companies will trickle down to benefit patients.”
“The Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act is unfair to dialysis patients; it fails to demonstrate how cuts in funding will improve patient care and could result in cuts in services for patients, particularly in lower-income neighborhoods and rural areas.”
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States 30 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
Nearly 680,000 Americans have irreversible kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. Over 475,000 ESRD patients receive dialysis at least 3 times per week to replace kidney function. 121,000 people started ESRD treatment in 2014, of which 118,000 started dialysis.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As of September 2018, the Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act is now referred to as Prop 8. Find more information about Prop 8 and a list of frequently asked questions.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.