The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is the department that regulates and monitors dialysis facilities and ensures that dialysis technician training and certification meets legislative requirements in the state of Colorado. While many states do not proactively monitor dialysis facilities, Colorado has officially recognized dialysis as a complex procedure and has designed laws which are meant to safeguard the public. Technicians in Colorado are expected to abide by the following requirements:
- Be credentialed by a national credentialing program
- Supervised by a physician or registered nurse who has been trained in dialysis
- Receive credentials within 18 months of enrollment in a training program
In addition to the requirements outlined above, dialysis facilities are required to keep personnel records on all clinical staff and maintain technician certification records. Included in these records, there must be the employment application as well as evidence that all credentials have been verified. Clinics must also submit a list of the names of all technicians, the date when each of them was credentialed or began a training program, and the name of the credentialing association.
The legislation adopted by the state of Colorado ensures that all dialysis clinics are in compliance with recent requirements incorporated into the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ reimbursement policy. Since these requirements were recently established for clinics in all states that intend to receive federal funding, there are no additional hurdles that dialysis clinics in Colorado must overcome. Technician training programs are offered by most dialysis clinics in Colorado. These programs usually last approximately 90 days and typically include courses in human anatomy, principles of dialysis, and clinical experience. Technicians are also required to complete annual continuing education in order to keep their certification current.
In addition to the requirements established by the state of Colorado, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has adopted the following expectations.
CMS regulations 494.140 (e)(1-4) state that the patient care technician training and certification requirements must comply with these rules:
- Meet state requirements for:
- Standards of practice
- A High School Diploma or GED
- Complete an approved training program that includes:
- Principles of dialysis
- Care of patients with kidney failure
- Possible complications of dialysis
- Water treatment and dialysate preparation
- Infection control
- Dialyzer reprocessing
- Certification by a State or National Program within 18 months of employment
Unlike dialysis facilities in unregulated states, those in Colorado should have little concern over the new federal regulations. Clinics in Colorado have been required to verify technician certification for many years and should not have to change their practices to comply with the new federal regulations. Technicians are encouraged to ask the directors of local facilities about specific requirements in their area prior to completing the certification process.
National certification organizations include the following:
- The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)
- Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) Exam
- The Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)
- Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT) Exam
- The National Nephrology Certification Organization, Inc. (NNCO)
In 1978, Congress established 18 non-profit networks that are responsible for tracking the quality of dialysis care in the United States. These regional networks each have jurisdiction over one to six states where they gather information and act as a resource. The state of Colorado has been grouped with Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming in Network #15. The Network website contains information for staff and patients. The facility locator page can be used to locate clinics in your area.
Colorado Dialysis Technician Training and Career Links
- Fresenius Medical Care
- Dialysis Clinic, Inc
- American Renal Associates
- Reliant Renal Care
- Children’s Hospital Colorado
- University of Colorado
State Contact Information
Phone: (303) 692-2836
Fax: (303) 753-6214
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South Denver, CO 80246-1530
National Network: Network 15