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Changes to kidney and pancreas allocation to be implemented later this year

Published on: Friday, September 11, 2020

In late 2020, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network will implement policies to remove donation service area (DSA) and OPTN region from kidney and pancreas allocation. At implementation, DSA and region will be replaced with a 250 nautical mile (NM) fixed circle. The exact implementation date is still being finalized and is planned for mid-December of this year.

In the new system, deceased donor kidney and pancreas offers (except for rare, very well-matched donor and recipient combinations nationwide) will be offered first to candidates listed at transplant hospitals within 250 NM of the donor hospital. Offers not accepted for any of these candidates will then be made for candidates beyond the 250 NM distance. Kidney and pancreas candidates will receive proximity points in the new system that prioritize them within their classification.

The OPTN Board of Directors approved the new system at its December 2019 meeting. The board approved three additional policies at its virtual meeting in June of this year. These supplemental policies will be implemented alongside the two policies to remove DSA and region from kidney and pancreas allocation and address:

  • How deceased donor kidneys and pancreata from Alaska are distributed in the new system
  • How OPOs will reallocate released kidneys and pancreata in the new system
  • How medically urgent kidney candidates are prioritized in the new system

More information about the changes involved with these policies can be found in the Professional Education section of the OPTN website. The following toolkits are now available:


These toolkit pages will be updated regularly with resources as they are developed.

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