Dialysis patient care is in crisis and it’s driving up costs for all of us.

Dialysis keeps patients alive when their kidneys fail by taking out the patient’s blood, cleaning it, and putting it back in their body. In the United States, more than 520,000 people depend on dialysis, and two big corporations — Fresenius and DaVita — monopolize the industry, controlling 73% of the market.

Patient care is suffering

Patients and caregivers report sanitation problems, including bloodstains and cockroaches in dialysis clinics. Patients’ lives have been put at risk from exposure to dangerous infections and diseases, like COVID-19, hepatitis, and tuberculosis.

Dialysis corporation profits are out of control

Big dialysis corporations make billions of dollars annually. The average profit margin for DaVita and Fresenius clinics in the United States is 16% and 15.8% respectively — nearly six times as high as the average profit margin for US hospitals.

Overcharging drives up costs for all of us

Dialysis companies charge patients with private insurance an average $150,000 for a year of dialysis treatment. That’s a 350% markup from the cost of providing care! Insurance companies are forced to pass the costs to all policyholders, driving up healthcare premiums for us all. Blue Shield of California reports that it takes 3,800 enrollees to offset the cost of one dialysis patient.

Prop 23: Protecting Dialysis Patients

Dialysis patients and workers are uniting to win changes that protect patients and improve care. Prop 23, the Protect the Lives of Dialysis Patients Act will be on the ballot for the November 2020 elections in California.

The Protect the Lives of Dialysis Patients Act:

1. Requires clinics to have a physician on site any time patients are being treated.

2. Requires clinics to report accurate data on infections to state and federal governments.

3. Clinics cannot be closed or reduce their services unless approved by the state — just like all other critical health care facilities.

4. Prohibits clinics from discriminating against patients because of the type of insurance they have.