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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 5, 2023 09:11 AM
From: Representative Jeanne McNeill
To: All House members
Subject: Staff-to-Patient Ratios for Dialysis Caregivers
Across our state, thousands of residents are living with end-stage renal disease; commonly known as kidney failure, this disease is fatal without treatment. While some folks are fortunate enough to receive a kidney transplant, others are not and must receive dialysis care with the help of a caregiver to filter their blood. In 2021 alone, of the near 30,000 Pennsylvanians with kidney failure, less than a third were able to have a transplant – leaving over 19,000 individuals to be placed on a machine to stay alive.
We need to ensure quality care for people who depend on dialysis treatment, so I plan to introduce legislation to establish staff-to-patient ratios for dialysis centers. My bill would require a minimum of one caregiver for every four patients actively receiving dialysis treatment. A caregiver would be defined as someone who is trained in dialysis procedures, and would allow for facilities to utilize physicians, nurses, and dialysis technicians to meet this ratio.
The only form of regulation for dialysis centers in Pennsylvania comes from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, meaning only facilities certified by that institution have any oversight in staffing levels. For a treatment that can mean life or death for a person, every facility should guarantee safe staffing levels and a high standard of care.
Please consider co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation and let us work to make Pennsylvania the best in dialysis care.

Introduced as HB532