Effective for new transplant candidate registrations on or after February 1, the OPTN registration fee will decrease from $979 to $952 for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019. The change was made possible by a combination of a sustained high volume of new registrations, the completion of funding for the OPTN reserve account, and a reassessment of activities and expenses for the remainder of the year under the new OPTN contract.
This action is the first time the OPTN fee has been reduced, although on several occasions it has remained the same from one year to the next.
The primary source of funding for the OPTN is a registration fee assessed for each newly registered transplant candidate. The fee is calculated on an annual basis by the OPTN Finance Committee, based on projections of new registrations compared to budgeted OPTN expenses.
The Finance Committee recommends the proposed fee for approval by the OPTN Board of Directors. The fee amount is also subject to authorization by the Health Resources and Services Administration. On occasion, as in this fiscal year, the budget and fee may be reassessed during the year to address significant changes in funding or costs.
The OPTN also receives some direct funding from federal appropriations. Federal funding will account for approximately 11 percent of the OPTN budget under the recently renewed OPTN contract.
In 2014, the OPTN also established a reserve account to maintain OPTN operations in the event of significant, unexpected shortfalls in revenue. Since that time, portions of revenue from the OPTN registration fee have been designated to build funding in the account. At its December 2018 meeting, the OPTN Board of Directors approved a final appropriation to the reserve fund and determined that it is now fully funded, without the need for additional support from future registration fees.