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Ensuring equity in the nation’s organ donation and transplant system

Published on: Friday, January 19, 2024

In December 2022, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Board of Directors unanimously approved a community-driven policy that required kidney transplant programs to assess their waiting lists and backdate the waiting times of Black kidney transplant candidates who were disadvantaged by previous use of a race-inclusive eGFR calculation. Per the OPTN policy, all kidney transplant programs were required to attest by Jan. 3, 2024, that they had met the policy’s requirements.

As of Jan. 4, 2024, all active kidney transplant programs have attested to the policy’s requirements, and as of Jan. 15, 2024, 14,849 waiting-time modifications have been completed. The OPTN thanks these transplant programs for all their dedicated efforts towards this important initiative. These actions serve to enhance equity in the nation’s organ donation and transplant system.

All kidney transplant programs are required to continue to fulfill the following ongoing requirements of the policy:

  1. Continue to provide the first notification to all newly registered kidney candidates to inform them of the policy
  2. Assess newly registered kidney candidates to determine eligibility for a waiting time modification
  3. Continue to submit completed waiting-time modification requests to the OPTN for every candidate who should have qualified to accrue waiting time sooner

The OPTN monitors donation and transplant policies to understand whether changes to the system are meeting the intended goals, and to determine if they are resulting in unintended consequences. The six-month monitoring report for this policy is available on the OPTN website. The next planned monitoring report will be available in the second quarter of this year and will capture one year of post-implementation data as outlined in the policy’s briefing paper