Dialysis patients, physicians, and caregivers oppose AB 290 (Wood) that would Prioritize Insurance Company Profits Over Dialysis Patient Access to Life-Saving Care

January 29, 2019

“Dialysis is Life Support, a coalition of patients, physicians and dialysis caregivers, strongly opposed SB 1156 (Leyva) last year which was vetoed by Governor Brown given its negative impact on patients. Our coalition is similarly opposed to AB 290 (Wood), a nearly identical bill. We are concerned with any policy that encourages insurance discrimination against dialysis patients. AB 290 prioritizes health insurance company profits over patient access to dialysis care.

“Further, the implication that Medicare reimbursement should be the standard of payment is simply inappropriate and would have a devastating impact on access to care for individuals with renal failure. MedPAC, the advisory commission to the US Congress, reported in January 2019 that Medicare payments fall short of cost of dialysis care by 1.1%. 

“We share any policymaker concerns around inappropriate use of premium assistance, in fact our coalition of patients, physicians and dialysis caregivers is working with California lawmakers to soon introduce legislation to establish guardrails around premium assistance to ensure best practices and accountability. AB 290 is not the answer and will only jeopardize access to care for thousands of patients who need dialysis to stay alive.”

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