Transform Dialysis

Update on the Dialysis Patient Safety Act

State Senator Ricardo Lara plans to hold SB 349 back from a vote during this Assembly session, to meet with stakeholders to strengthen the bill for when the legislature reconvenes later in the year.

We’ll continue to work with Senator Lara to transform the dialysis industry in California so that dialysis caregivers can provide the best possible care.

Because of dialysis caregivers backed by UNAC/UHCP and NUHHCE, the bill has won every committee and floor vote so far in the State Senate and Assembly—despite massive opposition by the big dialysis corporations.

We will keep you updated on developments with the bill.

Watch the Transforming Dialysis Video

“I’m not just a person to make money for them. I want to be taken care of.” –Maddy, a longtime dialysis patient.

Watch “Transforming Dialysis,” a two-and-a-half minute video featuring dialysis PCTs, RNs and a patient.

Send the link to your family, friends and coworkers, and post it on social media with the hashtag #TransformDialysis.

Don't Believe Dialysis Industry's Lies and Misinformation

The dialysis industry’s biggest corporations have been spreading lies and misinformation about The Dialysis Patient Safety Act (SB 349), doing everything they can to prevent the bill from cutting into their huge profit margins by forcing them to invest more in patient care.

The fact is that the staffing ratios, minimum transition times between patients to reduce the spread of infection, and inspection requirements for chronic dialysis clinics called for in SB 349 are firmly rooted not only in common sense but a solid body of evidence from decades’ worth of peer-reviewed scientific studies.

Study after study in multiple hospitals, multiple countries, and multiple health care settings including nursing homes and dialysis clinics, show that staffing ratios and nurses’ workload—the number of patients assigned to each nurse—matter in terms of patient outcomes. In the dialysis setting, that specifically includes reducing the spread of infections—the number one cause of hospital admissions and second leading cause of death among dialysis patients.

Read more here.

Don't Fall for Scare Tactics! Safe Staffing Saves Lives

Click the images below to download. Text them to coworkers.

Share them on social media with the campaign hashtag #TransformDialysis.

Studies going back decades in hospitals and dialysis settings show that better staffing and a supportive work environment save lives and improve patient outcomes.

Get the facts here (multi-page PDF document).

Dialysis Workers Help Win CA Assembly Health Committee Yes Vote on Dialysis Ratios

On Tuesday, June 27, the California State Assembly’s Health Committee voted to approve the Dialysis Patient Safety Act, or SB 349.

Dialysis workers with UNAC/UHCP & NUHHCE helped win this vote.

Carlos Altamirano, PCT, visited the office of San Diego area Assembly member Brain Maienschein last week. After hearing directly from a dialysis RN, Maienschein decided to vote yes on the bill.

Carlos is pictured above at left with UNAC/UHCP member Tiashira Gadlin, RN, from Kaiser San Diego and retired UNAC/UHCP member Donna Smith, RN.

Carol Harrison, RN, testified before the committee before they took their vote:

“All California hospitals already have patient to staff ratios and they’ve been proven to improve patient outcomes. The dialysis industry needs to institute similar measures to protect patient safety.”

Carol is pictured at right in front of the State Capitol, along with Christine Lubos, RN, and Kai Cheng, RN, fellow dialysis workers who traveled with her to Sacramento for the vote.

Read the UNAC/UHCP press release about the vote here.

Nephrology Caregivers Conference Draws RNs & PCTs, Chronic & Acute, Union & Non-Union

The first-of-its-kind Nephrology Caregivers Conference sponsored by the UNAC/UHCP and NUHHCE team topped out at more than 200 registered attendees. Fresenius and DaVita RNs and PCTs from acute and chronic settings mixed with UNAC/UHCP members from acute hospitals throughout Southern California to talk about challenges within the field of dialysis.

The most important takeaway for conference attendees was that staffing ratios, reasonable transition times and a supportive work environment in dialysis save lives—as called for in The Dialysis Patient Safety Act, or California Senate Bill 349, co-sponsored by SB 349. Decades of evidence from numerous studies show this.

The day’s final presentation, “Nurse Staffing, Workload and the Dialysis Work Environment: Do They Matter” by esteemed academic researchers Dr. Charlotte Thomas-Hawkins, PhD, RN, and Dr. Linda Flynn, PhD, RN, FAAN, made the case.

See their full side presentation here, with study citations, summaries, charts and key findings. Full video of the presentation will be posted there soon.

“Study after study after study in multiple settings and multiple countries, multiple hospitals and multiple centers, show the same results…Staffing ratios, in other words, nurses’ workload, the number of patients assigned to RNs, matters in terms of patient outcomes.”

—Dr. Linda Flynn, PhD, RN, FAAN, 6/11/17

“After the conference it’s clear to me—there is overwhelming evidence that the Dialysis Patient Safety Act is right for dialysis, right for the workers, right for our companies and most especially, right for our patients.”

—Jay Lozada, PCT

Read more about the conference here.

Watch Dialysis Workers' TV Segment

The TV show Kababayan Today recently featured dialysis workers talking about what’s needed to make dialysis safer for patients and more attractive for RNs and PCTs.

Click here or on the image below to watch. (The show is mostly in English, with a little bit of Taglish spoken also.)

“If you are in the medical field and you are not part of this organization [UNAC/UHCP & NUHHCE], you better call them right away.”

–G Töngi, host of Kababayan Today.

Dialysis Patient Safety Act Passes in the State Senate

The California State Senate voted on May 31, 2017 to pass the Dialysis Patient Safety Act, after months of hard work by dialysis RNs and PCTs, working with UNAC/UHCP and NUHHCE.

Read more about the vote and background here.

Next step before the bill becomes law is for it to be taken up by the California State Assembly. Check back here for news.

You can also read more about the bill below.


Dialysis Registered Nurses (RNs), Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) and other professional caregivers, are joining together with a vision of transforming the dialysis industry.

For too long the dialysis industry has held the lives of tens of thousands of Californians in its hands while operating with little oversight or accountability and raking in huge profits from a rapid expansion.


Dialysis caregivers face common challenges to delivering the best and safest patient care:

  • Short staffing puts patients and caregiver licenses at risk
  • Pressure to speed up transition times between patients risks for infection, cardiac arrest and stroke
  • High turnover among staff jeopardizes continuity of care and increases the burden on caregivers who stay
  • Caregivers have little power to create change

The Dialysis Patient Safety Act (Senate Bill 349)

UNAC/UHCP, working with dialysis RNs and PCTs, has sponsored California Senate Bill 349, to bring much-needed standards of safe patient care and oversight to California’s dialysis clinics. SB 349 was authored by State Senator Ricardo Lara.

The bill passed the CA State Senate on May 31, 2017. Read more about that here.

The Dialysis Patient Safety Act:

  • Sets safe ratios of RNs, Patient Care Technicians and Social Workers to patients
  • Sets a safe transition time between patients of 45 minutes to clean blood and fluids from the treatment station to prevent infection
  • Requires annual safety inspections of dialysis clinics, now inspected only every five to six years

Next step before the bill becomes law is for it to be taken up by the California State Assembly. Check back here for news.

An Affordable Solution

The dialysis companies can afford to invest more in patient care.

  • There are 64,000 dialysis patients in California.
  • There are more than 560 dialysis clinics.
  • The number of dialysis patients has been growing and growth is expected to continue.
  • The major dialysis companies rake in billions in annual profits.
  • They operate with much higher profit margins than most hospitals.

The dialysis companies have a responsibility to patients in the state of California to provide the best and safest care.

They can afford to do so, but they refuse.

That’s why SB 349 is needed to save and extend the lives of tens of thousands of Californians.

What You Can Do

  1. Call your California Assembly Member and tell them to Vote Yes on The Dialysis Patient Safety Act when it comes up for a vote in the Assembly.
  2. Post about the bill on social media using #TransformDialysis.
  3. Email to receive updates on the campaign and the progress of the bill.

For more information about how to get involved in the campaign to transform dialysis, call 909-451-0777.