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Dialysis Corporation Hires Operatives to Pressure, Intimidate Patients into Opposing Ballot Initiative Designed to Improve Care, Reports Kidney Patients Deserve Better

Patients with kidney failure in California are coming under increasing
pressure from operatives hired by a California dialysis corporation to
oppose a November ballot initiative designed to improve their patient
care.

Fresenius, one of the two largest dialysis corporations in the United
States, is aggressively moving to enlist patients to sign a petition to
oppose the Fair Pricing in Dialysis Act, an initiative which qualified
last month for the Nov. 6 California ballot.

“It’s so wrong how these companies are trying to scare us by claiming
our clinics will close if we don’t sign the petition,” said Richard
Adling, a dialysis patient from Jurupa Valley, Calif. “To me this just
shows how manipulative the industry is and cares far more about itself
than patients. What kind of people try to pressure and frighten patients
who suffer from an often fatal disease?”

Industry representatives are circulating
a petition in clinics, pushing patients to sign it after their
treatment. Workers report some patients are being told by the operatives
that their clinics will close as early as January 2019 and their
Medicare benefits would be cut if they refuse to sign the petition.

A recent
Facebook post by a representative of staffing agency Core Staffing
Solutions says it is hiring workers for a five-day project “collecting
signatures from patients at dialysis clinics” in three cities in Los
Angeles County. A follow-up
email from Core Staffing Solutions indicated the workers would be
“…informing patients about a proposed measure that could lead to the
closing of dialysis clinics and cutbacks in services.”

The temporary positions pay $18 an hour, which is up to $3 more per hour
than the average wage for a patient care technician at Fresenius clinics
in California, according
to Glassdoor. Patient care technicians connect patients to dialysis
machines and monitor patients throughout their three-hour treatment.

The ballot initiative would push dialysis corporations to invest more in
the treatment of patients with kidney failure and improve conditions in
the clinics, where patients have reported incidents of cockroaches,
mice, blood stains and dirty bathrooms.

Two corporations dominate the dialysis industry in California: DaVita
and Fresenius, which own and operate 72 percent of the clinics in the
state. The profit margin of their dialysis clinics is nearly five times
higher than the average hospital in California, and they reported a
combined profit of $3.9 billion in 2016 from their U.S. dialysis
operations.

According to the U.S. Renal Data System, 66,000 Californians have kidney
failure, also known as End Stage Renal Disease, a life-threatening
illness that typically requires being treated in a dialysis clinic.
Patients often must undergo dialysis treatment three days a week at
clinics to remove their blood, clean it, and put it back in their
bodies. Each treatment lasts three to four hours.

Paid for by Californians for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection,
sponsored by Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare
Workers West. Committee major funding from Service Employees
International Union – United Healthcare Workers West.

Funding details at www.fppc.ca.gov.
777 S. Figueroa St., Ste. 4050, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180618005253/en/