Legislation that would mandate staff to patient ratios in California dialysis clinics has passed the California Assembly Committee on Health and will head to the California Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration. Senate Bill 349, called the Dialysis Patient Safety Act, passed the State Senate on a 24-15 vote May 31.

The latest version of the bill added a 1 to 75 patient to staff ratio for dietitians, and included significant changes to the penalties written into the original language. The revisions give the Department of Health wider discretion on specific penalties for clinics who do not meet the ratios.

The bill also includes a 1 to 8 patient to staff ratio for nurses, 1 to 3 for patient care technicians, and 1 to 75 for dialysis social workers, proposes to establish a 45-minute transition period between treatments, and require state surveyors to inspect clinics at least once a year.

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