Legislation that would mandate staff to patient ratios in California dialysis clinics has been amended to include the option for the State Department of Public Health to grant a waiver to dialysis clinics in rural counties, defined as having a population of less than 250,000 with no single urbanized area with a population of greater than 50,000.

Senate Bill 349, called the Dialysis Patient Safety Act, was most recently amended June 29 after passing the California Assembly Committee on Health. The bill is now headed to the California Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration.

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

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