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Improving the kidney care workforce

On April 20, 2023, Governor Jay Inslee signed ESHB 1073 into law, which will help ensure, among other things, that kidney patients have access to the care they need. This new law recognizes the important role that Medical Assistant-Hemodialysis Technicians (MA-HTs) play in providing life-saving treatments to patients undergoing hemodialysis.

MA-HTs are trained professionals who assist registered nurses and other medical professionals in administering hemodialysis treatments. They are responsible for setting up and monitoring the equipment, taking patient vitals, and observing the patient for any adverse reactions or complications. MA-HTs also provide support and education to patients and their families, helping them to understand the treatment process and manage their condition.

ESHB 1073 recognizes the important role that MA-HTs play in providing care to kidney patients by streamlining the credentialing requirements for MA-HTs in the state of Washington. The law also requires that MA-HTs be supervised by a registered nurse or other qualified medical professionals.

This new law is a significant step forward in ensuring that patients with kidney disease in Washington have access to high-quality, safe, and effective care by streamlining the credentialing for MA-HTs.

Kidney dialysis facilities are facing staffing shortages that have intensified with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All healthcare facilities, including dialysis centers, have reported difficulty in not only recruiting new providers but retaining existing ones. This is an incredibly complex issue and there is no one solution, however, streamlining the credentialing process for medical assistants-hemodialysis technicians is an important step in the right direction that can directly benefit the patients they serve.

By recognizing the important role that MA-HTs play in providing hemodialysis treatments, the state is taking an important step toward improving the lives of patients with kidney disease.

On behalf of the kidney community, the Northwest Kidney Council wants to express its sincere gratitude to Governor Jay Inslee for signing ESHB 1073 into law and to all the bill sponsors who shepherded this bill through the legislature. We’ve supported this legislation all session long and your leadership and commitment to improving healthcare access and outcomes for patients with kidney disease are commendable. This new law will have a significant impact on the lives of patients and their families, and we are grateful for your dedication to improving healthcare in Washington.

We look forward to continuing to work together to improve healthcare access and outcomes for all patients in Washington.


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