5 Resolution Supporting Dialysis Caregivers and the Dialysis Patient Safety Act, SB 349.

Meeting Date: SEPTEMBER 05, 2017

Date Posted: SEPTEMBER 02, 2017

Note from TheGardeningSnail.This Page may have been produced by running a PDF Image File through a program which converts Image to Text. My apologies for any Textual Gremlins that may have crept in during the Process. I also may have broken up some of the longer paragraphs.


AGENDA ITEM: Resolution Supporting Dialysis Caregivers and the Dialysis Patient Safety Act, SB 349.

MEETING DATE: September 5, 2017

PREPARED BY: Jose Antonio Ramirez, City Manager

REVIEWED BY: Jose Antonio Ramirez, City Manager


That Council adopt Resolution No. 2017-_, supporting Dialysis Caregivers and the Dialysis Patient Safety Act, SB 349.


State Senator Ricardo Lara introduced legislation, the Dialysis Patient Safety Act, SB 349, in February 2017.


SB 349 will improve safety and care for dialysis patients receiving treatment at outpatient clinics in three ways:

• Requiring safe staffing levels;

• Increasing the frequency of inspections; and

• Requiring adequate time between patients to clean the dialysis Machines and to allow patients to rest after finishing treatment.


None to the City.


1. Resolution No. 2017-

2. Dialysis Patient Safety Act Factsheet SB 349 (Lara)





WHEREAS, kidney failure is a growing national concern and most patients must visit a dialysis clinic three days a week to have their blood emptied, cleaned and returned; and

WHEREAS, dialysis is an exhausting process that requires having a tube connected to a patient’s arm or neck for three to four hours a visit, and leaves them susceptible to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and falling blood pressure; and

WHEREAS, there are 570 dialysis clinics in California treating more than 66,000 people a year, including a disproportionate number of African-American and Latino patients; and

WHEREAS, dialysis patients are often rushed through treatment because the dialysis companies try to maximize profits at the expense of patients’ ability to safely recover after treatment; and

WHEREAS, infection is the second leading cause of death among people with ESRD, and an average of 13 patients assigned to each dialysis clinic in California died every year between 2011 and 2014. An average of 1 out of every 8 of those deaths were caused by infections; and

WHEREAS, dialysis clinics in California are inspected on average only once every five to six years, while nursing homes – and restaurants – in the state must be inspected every year; and

WHEREAS, the federal government requires an “adequate number of qualified and trained staff’ for dialysis clinics in all states but doesn’t specify what that means; and

WHEREAS, dialysis workers routinely report being assigned to 8, 10 or as many as 12 patients despite the companies’ unwritten rules that patient care technicians should be assigned no more than four patients at a time. If one patient’s blood pressure drops and simultaneously a second patient starts experiencing problems, it can be very difficult for workers to help both people; and

WHEREAS, dozens of dialysis workers in California approached SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) in 2016 with serious concerns about patient care and working conditions in their clinics, and wanted to join the union to address those issues; and

WHEREAS, the two largest dialysis corporations – DaVita and Fresenius – made combined profits of $3.9 billion from their dialysis operations in the United States in 2016 but fiercely resist efforts to reform the industry; and

WHEREAS, California State Senator Ricardo Lara introduced legislation, the Dialysis Patient Safety Act, SB 349, in February 2017 to improve patient care through longer transition times between patients, safer staffing levels and more frequent clinic inspections; and

WHEREAS, SB 349 requires minimum staffing levels in dialysis clinics for registered nurses, patient care technicians, social workers and dietitians at all times to ensure optimal patient care; and

WHEREAS, SB 349 mandates 45 minutes between patients to allow more time for them to recover and for staff to sanitize the equipment and reduce infections. Infections are the second leading cause of death for dialysis patients; and

WHEREAS, dialysis clinics in California must be inspected annually under SB 349 to ensure compliance with safer staffing levels; and

WHEREAS, SB 349 has support from a broad coalition, including labor unions, houses of worship and community advocacy organizations; and

WHEREAS, eight states currently have safer staffing levels at dialysis clinics, and California would become the first in the country to enact such reforms through legislation rather than government agencies’ rulemaking; and

WHEREAS, workers are being retaliated against for supporting AB 349 and efforts to form a union with SEIU-UHW. In May, 2017, DaVita fired a 16-year employee less than a day after he spoke at the California State Capitol in support of legislation. He is one of 23 DaVita employees either fired or disciplined for such involvements since October 2016.

WHEREAS, workers are allowed under the National Labor Relations Act to organize a union free from any coercion, intimidation and threats from an employer. DaVita’s retaliatory behavior is creating a hostile work environment for employees and is detracting from its mission to provide great care for dialysis patients; and therefore now let it be

RESOLVED, we urge the California Legislature to support SB 349, and dialysis corporations to refrain from retaliating against employees who support the legislation or efforts to form a union, both of which are federally protected rights.

Passed and adopted this 5th day of September, 2017, by the following vote: AYES:





Jim Soria, Mayor

of the City of Livingston


I, hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was regularly introduced, passed and adopted at a regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Livingston this 5th day of September, 2017.

Betty Cota, Deputy City Clerk of the City of Livingston