A new online tool identifies factors most associated with disparities in access to kidney, liver and lung transplants. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Equity in Access to Transplant Dashboard can now be accessed on the OPTN Data page.
The equity dashboard monitors system-level and factor-level trends related to access to deceased donor transplants among waitlisted candidates in the United States. It offers insights into the impact of previous policy changes on disparities in transplant access and may help identify the need for future policy refinements. The data show that overall allocation equity has improved over time.
A key plank of the OPTN strategic plan focuses on providing equity in access to transplants. Aggregating national OPTN data and analyzing trends in transplantation allows for the identification of inequities among transplant patient populations.
The measures shown in the dashboard are derived from an access to transplant score, or ATS. The ATS summarizes into a single number a candidate’s relative likelihood of receiving a deceased donor transplant, based on a number of factors, including:
- Donation Service Area, or DSA
- Body mass index, or BMI
- Community risk score
- Insurance type
- Blood type
- Other factors
Each waitlist candidate’s ATS is calculated based on the association of these factors with the rate of deceased donor transplantation.
These statistical results are based on a methodology published in the American Journal of Transplantation (along with early results) in 2018.
Among the key findings:
- Disparities in access to kidney transplants declined by about 40 percent after implementation of the Kidney Allocation System, suggesting improved equity.
- Disparities in access to liver and lung transplants have remained relatively stable over the past decade.
- The factor found to be most associated with disparities in access for all three organ systems in the DSA of the candidate’s transplant hospital.
- Many factors, for example insurance type (public vs. private), highest level of education, and Community Risk Score of the candidate’s zip code of residence, have practically no association with access to transplant.
Other information about the Equity in Access to Transplant Dashboard:
- The data displayed in this dashboard are aggregated and do not present any candidate-level or center-level data.
- The data will update on a quarterly basis, within approximately two months of the end of the previous quarter.
- Kidney and liver results are based on non-overlapping, quarterly periods of data.
- Lung results are based on rolling six-month periods of data, and updated quarterly.
- The data are downloadable as excel spreadsheets.