California voters have shot down a ballot measure that would impose new rules on kidney dialysis clinics across the state for the third consecutive general election.
Proposition 29 once again pitted for-profit dialysis clinics opposing the changes against a healthcare workers union aiming to set new rules on patient care, with collective campaign spending totaling over $94 million.
The initiative would have required the state’s roughly 650 dialysis clinics to have a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant on-site during treatment, in addition to dialysis technicians.
Two private for-profit dialysis companies, DaVita Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care, which opposed the measure, said that measure would have driven up clinics’ expenses, forcing them to reduce services or shut down, affecting patient care.
California Legislative Analyst’s Office found that the proposition would have likely increased each clinic’s costs by several hundred thousand dollars annually on average, largely because of the additional staffing requirement.
Proponents, including the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, said that it would require more transparency from dialysis companies and improve patient safety.
The proposition is the third time voters have weighed in on changes to dialysis clinic operations. A ballot measure in 2020 aimed to institute similar requirements for dialysis clinics as the present one and garnered over $105 million from the opposition and $9 million from proponents, though it was rejected by over 60% of voters.