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Policies

OPTN policies are rules that govern operation of all member transplant hospitals, organ procurement organizations (OPOs) and histocompatibility labs in the U.S. 

The OPTN evaluation plan provides guidance to member transplant centers, OPOs and histocompatibility labs on how to comply with OPTN policies and bylaws.

Recent updates

Last updated 10/07/2021

The OPTN policies were last updated on 10/07/2021 with the implementation of changes related to the proposals: Updating NLRB Guidance and Policy Clarification and Further Enhancements to the NLRB

Update Affected policies Effective date

Updating NLRB Guidance and Policy Clarification

Policy 9.5.A: Requirements for Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) MELD or PELD Exceptions

10/07/2021

Further Enhancements to the NLRB

Policy 9.5.G: Requirements for Portopulmonary Hypertension MELD or PELD score Exceptions

10/07/2021

Refine Lung Data Fields 

10.1.E: LAS Values and Clinical Data Update Schedule for Candidates at Least 12 Years Old 10.1.F: The LAS Calculation

09/30/2021

Updated Cohort for Calculation of the LAS

10.1.E: LAS Values and Clinical Data Update Schedule for Candidates at Least 12 Years Old 10.1.F: The LAS Calculation

10.1.F.iii: Bilirubin in the

LAS 10.1.F.iv: Creatinine in the

LAS 10.5: Probability Data Used in the LAS Calculation

09/30/2021

Require Notification of Critical Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Typing Changes

4.4: Resolving Discrepant Donor and Recipient HLA Typing Results

4.4.A: Requirement to Notify Transplant Programs and OPOs

4.4.A.i: Donor HLA Critical Discrepancies

4.4.A.ii: Candidate and Recipient HLA Critical Discrepancies

4.4.B: Requirement to Resolve Critical Discrepant Donor and Recipient HLA Typing Results

09/01/2021

Modify Living Donor Policy to Include Living VCA Donors

14.1.A: Living Donor Psychosocial Evaluation Requirements

14.2.A: ILDA Requirements for Living Donor Recovery Hospitals

14.3: Informed Consent Requirements

14.4.A: Living Donor Medical Evaluation Requirements

14.4.D Additional Requirements for the Medical Evaluation of Living Donors of Covered VCAs

09/01/2021

Repeal Policy 3.7.D: Applications for Modifications of Kidney Waiting Time during 2020 COVID-19 Emergency

3.7.D: Applications for Modifications of Kidney Waiting Time during 2020 COVID-19 Emergency

09/01/2021

Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Equivalency Tables Update 2020 (Including Expedited Pathway for Future Updates)

4.9: HLA Antigen Values and Split Equivalences

4.10: Reference Tables of HLA Antigen Values and Split Equivalences

06/17/2021

National Heart Review Board for Pediatrics

6.4: Adult and Pediatric Status Exceptions

6.4.A: Review Board and Committee Review of Status Exceptions

6.4.A.i: Review Board Appeals

6.4.A.ii: Committee Appeals

06/15/2021

Clarification of Policies and Bylaws Specific to Vascularized Composite Allograft

1.2: Definitions

2.2: OPO Responsibilities

2.14.E: Deceased Donor Authorization Requirement Policy

5.4.B: Order of Allocation

5.6.A: Receiving and Reviewing Organ Offers

5.6.B: Time Limit for Review and Acceptance of Organ Offers

12: Allocation of Vascularized Composite Allografts (VCA)

12.1: Waiting Time

12.2: VCA Allocation

14.5.C: Reporting of Living Donor Blood Type and Subtype

15.4.A: Host OPO Requirements for Reporting Post-Procurement Donor Results and Discovery of Potential Disease Transmissions

18.1: Timely Submission of Certain Data

18.2 Timely Collection of Data

18.3: Recording and Reporting the Outcomes of Organ Offers

06/14/2021

List Covered Body Parts for VCA

1.2 Definitions

06/14/2021

Align OPTN Policy with US PHS Guideline 2020

14.8.B: Living Donor Specimen Collection and Storage

14.3: Informed Consent Requirements

06/01/2021

Lower Respiratory SARS-CoV-2 Testing for Lung Donors

1.2 - Definitions

2.9 - Required Deceased Donor Infectious Disease Testing

05/27/2021
Conclude Relaxation of Data Submission Requirements for Follow-Up Forms

18.1 - Data Submission Requirements

18.1.A - Retrospective Data Collection during COVID-19 Emergency

18.2 - Timely Collection of Data

18.5.A - Reporting Requirements after Living Kidney Donation

18.5.B - Reporting Requirements after Living Liver Donation

04/01/2021
Expedited Liver Placement

1.2 - Definitions

5.3.D - Liver Acceptance Criteria

5.6.B - Time Limit for Review and Acceptance of Organ Offers

9.10.A - Expedited Liver Placement Acceptance Criteria

9.10.B - Expedited Liver Offers

3/25/2021
Eliminate the use of DSA and Region in Pancreas Allocation Policy

1.2 - Definitions

11.4.A - Kidney-Pancreas Allocation Order

11.4.B - Pancreas Allocation When a Kidney is Unavailable

11.4.C - Organ Offer Limits

11.4.D - Islet Waiting Time Criteria

11.5 - Pancreas, Kidney-Pancreas, and Islet Allocation Classifications and Rankings

11.5.E - Sorting Within Each Classification

11.5.F - Deceased Donors 50 Years Old and Less with a BMI Less Then or Equal to 30 kg/m2

11.6 - Reallocation of Unsuitable Islets
03/15/2021
Eliminate the use of DSA and Region in Kidney Allocation Policy

5.1 - Minimum Acceptance Criteria

5.1.A - Kidney Minimum Acceptance Criteria

8.2 - Exceptions

8.2.A - Exceptions Due to Medical Urgency

8.3 - Kidney Allocation Points

8.5.F - Highly Sensitized Candidates

8.5.H - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores less than or equal to 20%

8.5.I - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores greater than 20% but less than 35%

8.5.J - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores greater than or equal to 35% but less than or equal to 85%

8.5.K - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores greater than 85%

8.7 - Administrative Rules

8.7.A - Choice of Right versus Left Donor Kidney

8.7.B - National Kidney Offers
03/15/2021
Addressing Medically Urgent Candidates in New Kidney Allocation Policy

8.2.A - Exceptions Due to Medical Urgency

8.2.B - Deceased Donor Kidneys with Discrepant Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Typings

8.4.C - Time at Medically Urgency Status

8.4.D - Waiting Time for Kidney Recipients

8.5.A - Candidate Classifications

8.5.C - Sorting within Each Classification

8.5.F - Highly Sensitized Candidates

8.5.H - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores less than or equal to 20%

8.5.I - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores greater than 20% but less than 35%

8.5.J - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores greater than or equal to 35% but less than or equal to 85%

8.5.K - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores greater than 85%

8.7.A - Choice of Right Versus Left Donor Kidney
03/15/2021
Distribution of Kidneys and Pancreata from Alaska

8.7.D - Location of Donor Hospitals

11.8 - Administrative Rules

11.8A - Location of Donor Hospitals

03/15/2021
Modifications to Released Kidney and Pancreas Allocation

5.9 - Released Organs

8.3 - Kidney Allocation Score

8.5.H - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores less than or equal to 20%

8.5.I - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores greater than 20% but less than 35%

8.5.J - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores greater than or equal to 35% but less than or equal to 85%

8.5.K - Allocation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors with KDPI Scores greater than 85%

8.8 - Allocation of Released Kidneys

11.4.A - Kidney-Pancreas Allocation Order

11.4.C - Organ Offer Limits

11.7 - Allocation of Released Kidney-Pancreas, Pancreas, or Islets

03/15/2021
Guidance and Policy Addressing Adult Heart Allocation

6.1.A.ii - Non-dischargeable, Surgically Implanted, NonEndovascular Biventricular Support Device

6.1.C.vi - Mechanical Circulatory Support Device (MCSD) with Device Infection

6.1.D.ii -  Inotropes without Hemodynamic Monitoring

03/04/21

Explore other policy sections

Policy development

The OPTN policy development process uses community input to create evidence based rules about organ transplantation.

View notices of implemented policies & bylaws

Summary of implemented policy and bylaws changes approved by the OPTN Board of Directors.

View notices of approved policies & bylaws

Summary of approved policy and bylaws changes.

View the OPTN Evaluation Plan

Information about how UNOS assesses compliance with OPTN policies and bylaws.

If you have questions about these updates, please contact member.questions@unos.org.