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Informing Patients

Policy & Guidance

Patient information letter

As indicated in the OPTN policy on patient notification, transplant hospitals should send the UNOS patient information letter along with their own patient notification letters.

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This letter describes OPTN and UNOS services (including the patient services line), websites, the public comment process, and access to data, policies, and educational materials.

quick reference guide

Transplant hospital staff can use this guide as they develop and implement their own patient notification practices. This guide does not include all OPTN notification requirements. It is simply a summary of requirements for notifying patients about their placement on or removal from the waiting list. It can help you comply with the requirements defined in the OPTN Bylaws.

Waiting list notification requirements

Transplant hospitals are expected to notify patients in writing within 10 business days of when: The candidate evaluation has been completed but the candidate will not be placed on the waiting list. The candidate is placed on the waiting list. Note: The Date of Listing should be included in the body of the letter. The candidate is removed from the waiting list for reasons other than transplant or death. Note: This requirement is waived if the candidate dies within the 10-day requirement.

Each notification must include the following items:

1. A written statement from the transplant hospital explaining, in detail, the reason the notification is being sent.

2. At least one sentence that refers to the attached OPTN/UNOS patient information letter.

Waitlist notification compliance tips

  • Be sure to include both the patient notification letter from the transplant hospital and the OPTN/UNOS Patient Information Letter.
  • Be sure that the date on the hospital patient notification letter is within 10 business days as required in the Bylaws (note: This may differ from any similar CMS requirements).
  • If the removal date is included in the body of the letter, make sure that it is accurate (note: The removal date is not required).
  • Be sure that the patient notification letter states that the candidate has been either added or removed from the waiting list.
  • The UNOS patient services phone line number (888-894-6361) should not be included in the Patient Notification Letter.
  • Include a statement that refers to the OPTN/UNOS patient information letter, which is included with the transplant hospital patient notification letter.
  • Keep documentation of all patient notification correspondence for future compliance monitoring.

Organ Procurement & Transplantation Network

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