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Policy Notices


Making OPTN Policy

COVID-19 Policy Actions Implemented

The table below contains information for actions taken to address OPTN operational issues in the COVID-19 crisis.

PolicySummaryDocuments & supporting resourcesEffective date
Policy 1.4.F: Updates to Candidate Data during 2020 COVID-19 Emergency This emergency policy will allow transplant programs to refresh candidate clinical data with data obtained through previous testing in order to maintain current waitlist priority.

This policy prevents candidates who cannot undergo routine testing due to the COVID-19 crisis from being adversely affected on the waitlist.
OPTN Policy Notice March 17, 2020
Policy 3.7.D: Applications for Modifications of Kidney Waiting Time during 2020 COVID-19 Emergency This emergency policy allows transplant programs to submit a waiting time modification application to retroactively initiate waiting time for affected candidates.

This policy prevents potential non-dialysis candidates who meet creatinine clearance or glomerular filtration rate (GFR) criteria from being disadvantaged because they cannot obtain other testing required.
OPTN Policy Notice April 3, 2020
Policy 18.1: Data Submission Requirements
Policy 18.2: Timely Collection of Data
Policy 18.5.A: Reporting Requirements after Living Kidney Donation
Policy 18.5.B: Reporting Requirements after Living Liver Donation
This emergency policy change relaxes requirements for follow-up form submission.

The intent of the policy is to prevent unnecessary exposure risk to transplant recipients and living donors, and also to alleviate data burden for centers in the midst of COVID-19 crisis.
OPTN Policy Notice March 13, 2020

Pending Implementation

Target implementation date: October 2020

Incorporating COVID-19 Related Organ Failure In Candidate Listings
10/2020 Board action

Target implementation date: December 2020

Revise Pediatric Emergency Membership Exception Pathway
12/2017 Board action

Establish Pediatric Training and Experience
(Amend requirements for primary liver transplant physician)
12/2015 Board actions

Pancreas Removal of DSA
12/2019 Board action

Kidney Removal of DSA
12/2019 Board action

Addressing Medically Urgent Candidates in New Kidney Allocation Policy
6/2020 Board action

Distribution of Kidneys and Pancreata from Alaska
6/2020 Board action

Modifications to Released Kidney and Pancreas Allocation
6/2020 Board action

Target implementation date: January 2021

Modify Data Submission Policies
12/2019 Board action 

Target implementation date: March 2021

Expedited Placement of Livers
12/2019 Board action

Target implementation date: June 2021

Combined Policy Notice for VCA Membership Requirements (2020)
6/2015, 6/2016, 6/2018 Board action

VCA Membership Bylaws Requirements
6/2015 Board action

VCA - List Covered Body Parts - 1 of 2
6/2016 Board action

  • Policy 1.2: Definitions
  • Bylaws Appendix D: Membership Requirements for Transplant Hospitals and Transplant Programs; Appendix J: Membership Requirements for Vascularized Composite Allograft (VCA) Transplant Programs; and Appendix M: Definitions

Align VCA Program Membership Requirements with Other Programs
6/2018 Board action

National Heart Review Board for Pediatrics
6/2020 Board action

Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Equivalency Tables Update 2020
6/2020 Board action

Changes to Islet Bylaws
12/2018 Board action

Target implementation date: December 2021

OPTN Data Collection Changes: Update to VCA Transplant Outcomes Data Collection
6/2020 Board action

Implemented

2020

Enhancements to the National Liver Review Board
6/2020 Board action

  • Policies 9.4.A: MELD or PELD Score Exception Requests and 9.4.D: Calculation of Median MELD or PELD at Transplant: Effective August 4, 2020
  • Operational Guidelines: Effective August 4, 2020
  • Operational Guidance: Effective August 4, 2020
  • Policies 9.4.C: MELD or PELD Score Exception Extensions and 9.5.I.vii: Extensions of HCC Exceptions: Effective September 10, 2020

Guidance and Policy Modifications Addressing Blood Type Determination
6/2020 Board action

  • Guidance: Effective June 8, 2020
  • Policy: Effective September 1, 2020

Modify the Conflicts of Interests Bylaws
6/2020 Board action

Effective date: July 1, 2020

Creation of OPTN Heart and Lung Committees
3/2020 Board action

Effective date: July 1, 2020

Modify Lung TRF to Improve Post Transplant Lung Function Data
6/2018 Board action

Effective date: June 30, 2020

Eliminate the Use of Regions in VCA Distribution
6/2019 Board action

Effective date: June 18, 2020

Modify HOPE Act Variance to Include Other Organs
6/2019 Board action

Effective date: May 21, 2020

COVID-19 Emergency Policy Package (PDF - 765 K)
04/2020 Executive Committee action

Effective date: April 3, 2020

Clarifications on Reporting Maintenance Dialysis
6/2019 Board action

Effective date: April 1, 2020

Updates to Candidate Data During 2020 COVID-19 Emergency
03/2020 Executive Committee action

Effective date: March 17, 2020

Variances Removal Policy Notice
12/2019 Board action

Effective date: March 1, 2020

Clarification of Pre-Existing Liver Disease
12/2019 Board action

Effective March 1, 2020

Addressing HLA Typing Errors
12/2018 Board action

Effective February 27, 2020

Access for Urgent Liver Candidates in Hawaii & Puerto Rico
01/2020 Executive Committee action

Effective February 18, 2020

Liver and Intestine Distribution Using Distance from Donor Hospital
12/2018 Board action

Effective February 4, 2020

Reduce Reporting Burdens and Clarify Policies on Extra Vessels
6/2018 Board action 

Effective January 29, 2020

  • Table 16.1: Required information on internal labels for extra vessels, number 7 (donor infectious disease results)

Update Transplant Hospital Definition
12/2016 Board action

Effective January 13, 2020

Eliminate the Use of DSAs in Thoracic Organ Distribution
6/2019 Board action

Effective January 9, 2020

2019

Adding DR Antigens and Equivalences
12/2019 Board Action

Effective December 4, 2019

Hope Act Policy and Mini Brief
12/2019 Board action

Effective December 3, 2019

Modify Appointment Process for the Histocompatibility Vice Chair
12/2019 Board Action

Effective December 3, 2019

Aligning Units of Distribution in Closed Variance for Split Liver Transplantation
12/2019 Board Action

Effective December 3, 2019

Split Liver Variance
6/2019 Board action

Effective December 3, 2019

Revising Priority Points in Kidney Paired Donation Program
12/2015 Board action; 10/2019 Executive Committee action

Effective October 24, 2019

Improving Dual Kidney Allocation
12/2017 Board action

Effective September 2019

Improving en Bloc Kidney Allocation
12/2017 Board action

Effective September 2019

Changes to Waiting Time Criteria for Kidney-Pancreas Candidates
6/2018 Board action

Effective 7/11/2019

Guidance on Effective Practices in Organ Distribution 
6/2019 Board action

Effective 6/10/2019

Ethical Iimplications of Multi-Organ Transplants White Paper
6/2019 Board action

Effective 6/10/2019

Revised National Liver Review Board Policies
12/2018 Board action

Effective 5/14/2019

National Liver Review Board
6/2017 Board action

Effective 5/14/2019

Histocompatibility Bylaws Rewrite: General Supervisor
6/2015 Board action 

Effective 3/1/2018

Pancreas Program Functional Inactivity
12/2018 Board action

Effective 4/8/2019

Addressing HLA Typing Errors
12/2018 Board action

Effective 3/1/2019

  • Policy 2.2 (OPO responsibilities)
  • Bylaws C.2.D (OPO affiliation)

Amend CPRA Calculator
1/2019 Executive Committee action

Effective 1/17/2019

2018

Change to Hospital-Based OPO Voting Privileges
12/2018 Board action

Effective 12/4/2018

Frameworks for Organ Distribution
12/2018 Board action

Effective 12/4/2018

Pediatric Transition and Transfer Guidance
12/2018 Board action

Effective 12/3/2018

Intestine Membership Bylaws Requirements
6/2015 Board action

Effective 11/20/2018

Modify Adult Heart Allocation
12/2016 Board action

Effective 10/18/2018

Clarification of Adult Heart Allocation
8/2017 Executive Committee action

Effective 10/18/2018

Review Board Guidance on HCM and RCM Exceptions
6/2018 Board action

Effective 10/18/2018

Modifications to the Distribution of Deceased Donor Lungs
6/2018 Board action

Effective 10/18/2018 (Policy 6.6.F)

Effective 6/12/2018 (Policies 1.2, 10.2.A, 10.4)

Clarify Informed Consent Policies for Transmittable Diseases
6/2018 Board action

Effective 9/1/2018

Reduce Reporting Burdens and Clarify Policies on Extra Vessels
6/2018 Board action 

Effective 9/1/2018 (except table 16.1)

VCA - List Covered Body Parts (2 0f 2)
6/2016 Board action

  • Bylaws Appendix J: Membership Requirements for Vascularized Composite Allograft (VCA) Transplant Programs: Effective September 1, 2018
  • Policy 1.2: Definitions: Target implementation date: December 2021
  • Bylaws Appendix D: Membership Requirements for Transplant Hospitals and Transplant Programs; Appendix J: Membership Requirements for Vascularized Composite Allograft (VCA) Transplant Programs; and Appendix M: Definitions: Target implementation date: December 2021

Effective date: 9/1/2018

Improving the Efficiency of Organ Allocation
12/2017 Board action

Effective 3/1/2018 (Policies 2.2, 2.11 and 2.12)

Effective 5/2/2018 (Policies 1.2 and 5.6.B)

Effective 6/12/2018 (Policies 2.11.A and 2.11.D)

Effective 6/13/2018 (Policy 5.6.C)

Revising OPTN Bylaws Appendix L
6/2018 Board action

Effective 6/12/2018

Retrospective Review of Clerical Policy Changes 
6/2018 Executive Committee action

Effective 6/12/2018

Approved Transplant Fellowship Training Programs Bylaws 
12/2017 Board action

Effective 3/1/2018

Definition of Pancreas Graft Failure
6/2015 Board action

Effective 2/28/2018

Modification to HCC Extension Criteria
Effective 2/5/2018

2017

HCC Auto Approval Criteria Changes 
12/2016 Board action; 12/2017 Executive Committee action

Effective 12/12/2017

Lung Allocation Policy Modification
11/2017 Executive Committee action

Effective 11/24/2017

Standardize Organ Coding and Tracking System 
2/2017 Executive Committee action

Effective 11/01/2017

Improve the Categorization of Living Donor Events (PDF - 135 K)
9/2017 executive committee action

Effective 10/18/2017

Add DQA-1 Equivalences Table 
6/2016 Board action; 6/2017 Executive Committee action

Effective 9/12/2017

Update HLA Equivalency Tables 
12/2015 Board action; 4/2017 Executive Committee action

 Effective 9/12/2017

Personnel Procurement Requirements 
12/2015 Board action

Effective 9/1/2017

Foreign Equivalent in Bylaws 
12/2015 Board action

Effective 9/1/2017

Bylaws Rewrite 
6/2017 Board action

Effective 9/1/2017

Primary Kidney Transplant Physician Update 
12/2016 Board action

Effective 9/1/2017

Clarification to Apply Kidney Minimum Acceptance Criteria to Highly Sensitized Candidates 
7/2017 Executive Committee action

Effective 9/1/2017

Simultaneous Liver-Kidney Allocation 
6/2016 Board action

Effective 8/10/2017

Kidney: KAS Clarifications (part) 
6/2016 Board action

Effective 6/29/2017

Retrospective Review of Clerical Changes to Policies  
6/2017 Executive committee action

Effective 6/29/2017

Informed Consent Changes - Potential Living Donors 
12/2016 Board action

Effective 6/1/2017

Improving Post-Transplant Communication (part) 
6/2016 Board action; Required toxoplasmosis testing of all donors

Effective 4/6/2017

Pediatric Lung Allocation Changes 
12/2015 Board action

Effective 3/30/2017

All Other KPD Guidelines to Policy (part) 
6/2015 Board action

 Effective 3/30/2017

Post-Implementation ABO Policy Changes
12/2016 Board action

Effective 3/1/2017

Primary Transplant Surgeon Changes
12/2016 Board action

Effective 3/1/2017

Primary Transplant Physician Subspecialty Changes 
12/2016 Board action

Effective 3/1/2017

Remove Donor Location from Required Procurement Log
12/2016 Board action

Effective 3/1/2017

Changes to Imminent and Eligible Definitions
12/2016 Board action

 Effective 1/1/2017

2016

Retrospective Review of Clerical Changes to Policies
12/2016 Executive committee action

Effective 11/10/2016

Registration Fee
6/2016 Board action

Effective 10/1/2016

DTAC Policy Clarification
6/2016 Executive Committee action

Effective 9/1/2016

OSC Policy Clarification
8/2016 Executive Committee action

Effective 9/1/2016

HOPE Act
6/2016 Board action

Effective 9/1/2016

Improving Post-Transplant Communication (part) 
6/2016 Board action

Effective 9/1/2016

Kidney: KAS Clarifications (part) 
6/2016 Board action

Effective 9/1/2016

Regional Councillor Vacancy
6/2016 Board action

Effective 9/1/2017

Living Donor Candidate Registration 
4/2016 Executive Committee action

 Effective 4/14/2016

Retrospective Review of Clerical Changes to Policies 
12/2016 Executive committee action

Effective 4/14/2016

2015

KPD Informed Consent
6/2015 Board action

Effective 12/1/2015

Other Actions

12/2015 Board Actions

11/2015 Executive Committee Actions

OSC - ABO Policy Updates
6/2015 Board action

KPD Updates
6/2015 Board action

Pancreas Updates
6/2015 Board action

POC Updates 
6/2015 Board action

OPO Committee Updates
6/2015 Board action

VCA Committee Updates
6/2015 Board action

11/2014 Board Actions

Clerical Changes to KP Transition Plan Policy
9/2014 Executive Committee action

Register Living Donor Candidates Before Transplant
8/2014 Executive Committee action

6/2014 Board Actions - 1 

6/2014 Board Actions - 2 

3/2014 Policy Corrections 

Clarification for OPOs on PHS Guideline Documentation 
1/2014 action

11/2013 Board Actions 

8/2013 Executive Committee Actions 

6/2013 board meeting Actions 

Discretionary Listing of Pediatric Lung Transplant Candidates 
6/2013 action

5/2013 Executive Committee Actions 

11/2012 Board Actions 

Liver Committee updates 
6/2012 Board actions

Thoracic Committee Updates 
6/2012 Board actions

Changes to Policy, Bylaws and Kidney Paired Donation Guidelines
5/2012 actions

New Post Transplant Requirements for Liver Programs 
4/2012 actions

Looking for something else? Contact us at unoscommunications@unos.org or (804) 782-4800. We maintain an archive of historical OPTN documents.

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