Prop 23 Fails While Needs of Dialysis Patients Persist

 

Proposition 23, a California ballot measure that would have increased regulations on outpatient dialysis centers that serve nearly 80,000 patients in California, was overwhelmingly defeated by 63 percent of the electorate who voted against it.

The initiative was proposed by Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEI-UHW) who claimed that increasing regulations on outpatient dialysis centers would improve patient safety.

The successful No-Campaign, which raised nearly $100 million to fight the initiative, argued that the measure wouldn’t mprove patient safety and was being used as a political tactic by SEI-UHW.

For now, the battle between dialysis companies and the worker’s union is over, but the needs of the patients on dialysis remain, and nephrologists argue that going forward the focus should be on increasing prevention of chronic conditions and improving availability of organ donations.

“It is truly the best thing we can do for our patients to focus on treating them early, preventing disease, progression,” said Dr. Brian Brady, associate professor of Nephrology and Health Policy at Stanford. “If you were a patient or I were the patient, this the kind of care we would want.”

Along with prevention, Brady also said there are opportunities to improve outcomes for patients on dialysis by increasing availability of organ donations.

With over 100,000 patients on the transplant list nationwide and only 21,000 organ donations in 2019, there is a significant supply-demand mismatch that can be addressed by policy changes.