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Notice of implementation of new transplant program pediatric component applications and bylaws

On September 3, 2019, all transplant programs that have had at least one pediatric candidate listed for a transplant within the last five years will receive an application to qualify for a pediatric component to their program.  This is the first step in implementing OPTN bylaws for pediatric training and experience for programs intending to list and transplant pediatric patients.

Background

The OPTN Board of Directors approved bylaws in December 2015 establishing requirements for pediatric components and minimum qualifications for primary pediatric transplant surgeons and physicians for kidney, liver, pancreas, heart and lung transplant programs. The implementation of these bylaws was delayed for three years to allow time for members of the transplant community that would be affected by this change to prepare, as well as allow for the development of new application forms and the approval of those forms by Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB has recently approved the new applications for transplant program pediatric components.

Approved primary program transplant surgeons and physicians will not need to document that they meet the program primary surgeon or physician requirements. Kidney, liver, and heart pediatric key personnel will need to meet the additional pediatric specific requirements.

For pediatric kidney, liver, or heart components, the proposed primary pediatric transplant surgeon must:

  • Be the approved primary transplant surgeon for the program or document that they meet all of the requirements for the primary transplant surgeon for that program.
  • Document that they meet the pediatric current working knowledge and experience requirements for the organ.

The primary pediatric transplant physician for kidney and liver components must:

  • Be the approved primary transplant physician for the program or document that they meet all of the requirements for the primary transplant physician for that program
  • Document that they meet all requirements of one of the pediatric training or experience pathways in the primary transplant physician bylaw requirements for that program.

For pediatric heart components, the proposed primary pediatric transplant physician must:

  • Be the approved primary transplant physician for the program or document that they meet all of the requirements for the primary transplant physician for that program.
  • Document that they meet the pediatric current working knowledge and experience requirements for the organ.

There are no “pediatric specific requirements” for key personnel at pediatric lung and pancreas components. The proposed primary pediatric transplant surgeon and primary pediatric transplant physician must be the approved primary key personnel for the program or must document that they meet all current requirements to serve as the primary transplant surgeon or physician for that program.

Completing and submitting the application

As described in the Policy Notice issued in January 2016, the OPTN will distribute a pediatric component application to any member transplant program that has had at least one pediatric patient on its waiting list in the last five years. If you receive an application but don’t intend to apply, you may opt out using a link provided in the email. If your transplant hospital does not receive an application but wishes to apply for a pediatric component for your transplant program(s), send a request to MembershipRequests@unos.org or call (833) 577-9469 to get an application and the necessary instructions.

Your program must complete and submit your application within 90 days in order to guarantee that the OPTN and the Membership and Professional Standards Committee (MPSC) processes them before the Bylaws are implemented.  Each application will be processed over the next 12 to 18 months. The OPTN will notify you of the status of your application at least 30 days prior to the bylaws implementation date.

The effective date of the pediatric bylaws will coincide with the date that the OPTN Board of Directors acts on all pediatric component applications received during the 90 day submission period.

Once the pediatric bylaws are implemented, if your program has pediatric patients on the waiting list and you do not have approval for a pediatric component, you must follow the transition plan described in OPTN Bylaws Appendix K (Transplant Program Inactivity, Withdrawal, and Termination).

Pediatric bylaw language, as well as new pediatric-specific sample applications can be found in the Pediatric Transplant Implementation Toolkit on the OPTN website. 

The membership and personnel requirements for transplant program pediatric components will be completed on the following schedule:

  • September 3, 2019: Membership Analysts will send communication with applications to all transplant programs who have had at least one (1) pediatric patient on their waitlist in the last five (5) years.
  • December 3, 2019: Due date for all pediatric component applications. If we receive your application after this deadline, we cannot guarantee it will be processed prior to the implementation date. 
  • December 3, 2020: Earliest possible effective date of pediatric component membership and personnel bylaws. Notice will be provided 30 days prior to the effective date.

If you have any questions, please call the UNOS Membership Team at 833-577-9469 or email MembershipRequests@unos.org.