Experience guide to Proposition 29: Impose rules on dialysis clinics

Atreyu Hinckley, Staff Writer

Editor’s note: With the upcoming Midterm Election on Nov. 8, there are a handful of propositions for California voters to consider. Despite the brief explanations on the ballot, they can still be confusing for people who have no idea what they are or what will be changed if they vote yes or no. These are important decisions that will affect many Californians. This is the fifth of seven summaries that will give voters more information on what the proposition is and what are the pros and cons that come with them.

Proposition 29 is a California ballot proposition which would require operators of chronic dialysis clinics to have a minimum of one licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or an assistant to a physician at the respective clinic whenever treatment to a patient is needed. It would also offer the same level of care to all patients, regardless of how they pay for their treatment, and requires clinics to report about the dialysis-related infections to the state’s health department, along with submitting federal agency reports regarding the same information. This is the third time that dialysis clinics are part of the ballot process via the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West.

The pros of this proposition is the belief that dialysis companies do not invest enough when it comes to patient care, and the safety protocols in doing so, despite the high profit of the clinics. The process of removing blood, filtering it, and returning it back to the patients’ bodies takes multiple hours and could potentially leave patients vulnerable to other medical concerns. The presence of a physician, nurse practitioners and provided staff available at all times could potentially reduce hospitalization.

When it comes to the cons of this proposition, the quality of care is already proven to be well, and the amount of staff to treat and monitor people has also shown to be working fine as is. To have additional staff within dialysis clinics, in addition to having to increase transparency via providing medical information of patients to the state’s health department, is an unnecessary addition. Clinics already report infection data of their patients to the federal government. 

Patients within dialysis clinics also have the option to reach their nephrologists via telemedicine, which further increases the argument of needing additional staff. The increase of staff would also increase costs for clinics. This could potentially push some of the 650 dialysis clinics across the state to either reduce their hours, or even close down, which would endanger the lives of the 80,000 Californians who need treatment.

Down below are links to the other six proposition guides which will help you get an understanding:

Proposition 1: Constitutional right to reproductive freedom

Proposition 26: Allow sports betting at tribal casinos

Proposition 27: Allow online sports betting

Proposition 28: Arts & music education funding

Proposition 30: Tax millionaires for EV and wildfire funding

Proposition 31: Uphold flavored tobacco ban