Founding the California Kidney Care Alliance
A look back at the impetus of our 42-year journey shaping and innovating comprehensive kidney health today.
California Establishes Statewide Dialysis Facilities Membership Organization.
On May 21, 1982, the California Kidney Care Alliance (formerly the California Dialysis Council) was established. For the first time in the State of California — and perhaps any State — dialysis facilities, represented by their Medical Director and Administrator, met together to adopt an organizational structure that served as a vehicle for coordination and communication to meet the needs and interests of its members statewide
California Kidney Care Alliance (CKCA) filed for incorporation as a Nonprofit, Mutual Benefit Corporation. Its formation was a straightforward approach to bringing dialysis facilities together, whether hospital-based, freestanding, nonprofit, or for-profit across Northern and Southern California.
The organization was not designed or intended to duplicate other professional organizations, and it purposely superseded individual interests. CKCA was not the product of one or two individuals, but the result of many physicians and administrators working together to meet a common need.
In November 1981, a group of concerned administrators and medical directors from dialysis facilities throughout the state met for the purpose of discussing alternative courses of action necessary to deal with continuing and escalating legislation affecting the healthcare field, and in particular, dialysis. This initial meeting was organized by a small handful of dialysis facilities who, having supported legislative advocacy on proposed legislation, foresaw the need to broaden the base of financial support and active involvement.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 931 (Reuse) and Assembly Bill 932 (Licensing of Hemodialysis Technicians), was of interest to a larger percentage of dialysis facilities. It followed that a larger percentage of facilities, if given the opportunity in an organized and structured way, would participate in a statewide effort to collectively communicate with the legislature and help finance this movement.
Out of the discussions of this meeting emerged a consensus that the dialysis community in California must be better organized to deal effectively with the legislative process and state bureaucracy impacting kidney care. Therefore, a Steering Committee was formed for the purpose of structuring a statewide organization.
Steering Committee members represented a broad cross-section of the dialysis provider community. Represented on the committee were Northern and Southern California hospital-based and freestanding, for-profit, and not-for-profit entities, as well as physicians and administrators.
The formation and establishment of the California Kidney Care Alliance (formerly known as California Dialysis Council) as a nonprofit, voluntary statewide dialysis facility membership organization was unprecedented. It was the only such organization at the time in the country. It was formed to meet an unmet need, to provide an organizational structure that heretofore did not exist. The organizational structure provides an opportunity to interface with other health organizations and associations, creating a pathway to communicate with the legislature and governmental agencies collectively. CKCA also serves as a vehicle to develop programs to meet organizational and administrative needs and interests.
CKCA was established because its formation was a straightforward cooperative effort of physicians and administrators working together to bring all dialysis facilities together on a statewide basis. The uncertainty of change, frequent legislation, and higher reimbursement needs provided the catalyst.