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Kidney Equity in Access Report updated

Published on: Monday, August 21, 2017

The Equity in Access Report for deceased donor kidney transplants has been updated as of August 2017.  Figure 1 suggests that waiting list candidates continue to have more equitable access to deceased donor kidney transplants since implementation of the kidney allocation system (KAS) in late 2014.  Disparities in access remain, however, and are largely attributable to differences in the Donation Service Area where the candidate is listed, as well as the candidate’s blood type and calculated panel reactive antibody (CPRA) profile. 

Figure 1: Tracking Variability in Access-to-Transplant Score (ATS) Among Waitlisted Kidney Candidates by Quarter (Jan 2010 - March 2017). Along the x axis, the figure displays period or quarter. Along the y axis, standard deviation of access-to-transplant score (ATS) is charted from values 0 to 2, with 0 representing more equity and 2 representing less equity. In April 2014, per 18 SD equals 1.456. KAS was implemented in December 2014. In January 2017, per 29 SD equals 0.877.

The report uses a recently developed metric to assess how the OPTN system for allocating deceased donor kidneys is meeting the needs of transplant candidates.  Similar methodology will be used in the near future to assess equity in other organ allocation systems. 

UNOS researchers developed the methodology with support from the OPTN contract (Health Resources and Services Administration contract 234-2005-37011C).  They summarized their findings in a presentation at the American Transplant Congress.*  An initial report summary was presented to the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors at its December 2016 meeting.

* Stewart, Darren; Wilk, Amber; Cherikh, Wida; Harper, Ann; Urban, Read; Klassen, David; Edwards, Erick; "A New Methodology for Measuring and Monitoring Equity in Access to Deceased Donor Kidney Transplants", American Transplant Congress, Chicago, 2017.