Your guide to Prop. 29 on California kidney dialysis centers
by John Lott, Esq
For the last several years, Prop. 29 has provided a simple, effective mechanism to provide for the necessary changes in access to kidney dialysis for indigent people.
To understand how successful it has been, we need to understand it’s basic goal: California has a severe shortage of doctors to see dialysis patients. More doctors means more patients and more treatment. But the solution to this problem has not been simple and did not require a lot of money, political maneuvering or other forms of special pleading.
Prop. 29 would provide for a system whereby state funds could be allocated to dialysis centers to allow dialysis as a routine part of their patient’s treatment. Such a system has been found to be effective at meeting the needs of dialysis patients without adding a lot of new costs.
The bill passed the electorate in November 2004 by a two to one margin and was signed by the governor on March 7, 2005.
The primary goal of the measure was to allow access to kidney dialysis for California’s underserved population. The secondary goal was to allow dialysis to be a routine part of all kidney patient’s treatment.
“California has faced a long history of poor access to the care of persons with renal failure,” said Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-Bakersfield. “For this reason, over the last few decades, we have seen an unacceptably high rate of hospitalization among indigent patients. The most effective way to address this problem is to make all of these persons eligible for the most cost effective kidney transplant available.”
The measure provides that the state will provide funding for kidney dialysis centers to hire qualified nephrologists to treat all dialysis patients and then allows these dialysis centers to treat all kidney patients who require dialysis as a routine part of their care and treatment.
Since the passage of Prop. 29 patients could receive treatment at any of the 18 regional kidney care groups. Now, they can be treated at a kidney care group nearest them using dialysis.
This allows them to have access to treatment in other parts of the state where they might not be able to afford treatment. This will allow for more transplants and will make treatment more accessible to them.
Another issue the proponents of Prop