With all the attention this year rightly focused on protecting the Affordable Care Act, we need to remember that the quality of patient care is also an important issue. For the 10,000 African-Americans in California who depend on the life-saving treatment of dialysis, quality can’t afford to be overlooked.
People with kidney failure need dialysis for the rest of their lives unless they can get a transplant, which means they must visit a dialysis clinic three days a week to have their blood emptied, cleaned and returned.
African-Americans are disproportionately affected by kidney failure. While we make up 6.5 percent of the nation’s population, African-Americans comprise 15 percent of all dialysis patients.