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Making OPTN Policy

Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) policies affect U.S. transplant centers, organ procurement organizations (OPOs) candidates waiting for an organ transplant. Here’s a brief look at the process of an idea that transforms from proposal to transplant policy.

Identify an issue

  • Geographic variation in liver transplant rates
  • Improve access for status 1A heart candidates
  • Improve kidney survival rates

Investigate options and draft a proposal

  • Committees review OPTN data and resources to research options
  • Consider multiple solutions; narrow them down
  • Hold discussions with their peers to build consensus
  • Draft proposal language

Request and receive feedback

  • Post proposal language on the OPTN website
  • Invite public to provide feedback (usually for 60 days)
  • Committees review comments and respond to feedback

Rework the proposal (if needed)

  • Rewrite the proposal based on feedback received
  • Send reworked proposal for public comment, if needed

Board of Directors votes

  • Board meets twice a year to vote on policy proposals
  • Board-approved proposals become policies
  • Rejected proposals go back to committees for rework

Implement policy & notify the transplant community

  • Program policy changes into the OPTN secure computer application(s)
  • Post policies; inform transplant professionals and the public about changes
  • Provide instruction and educational materials appropriate to each audience