Lack of Government Accountability and Oversight is Costing Lives
Statement from the National Kidney Foundation on today’s news on the organ transplant system
March 22, 2023, New York, NY — The following statement is from Kevin Longino, Chief Executive Officer and kidney transplant recipient, regarding today’s announcement from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) about its plan to overhaul the organ transplant system.
“The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) welcomes today’s long overdue announcement from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that it plans to modernize the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) to drive more efficiency, accountability, transparency, and performance improvement in our nation’s transplant system. Transplant candidates, organ donors, their families, and the American public deserve a state-of-the-art transplant system that will honor and maximize every gift for organ donation and optimize each transplant opportunity.
Our current transplant system still relies on antiquated technology and inefficient systems that create life-threatening bureaucracy and delays. While the overall rate of transplants has increased in recent years, it still falls far short of patient needs. More than 12 people die every day waiting for a kidney transplant, even as one in four donor kidneys are thrown away in part due to inefficiencies in the system. HRSA’s move to redesign the OPTN contract will allow leaders in technology, artificial intelligence, supply chain management, and other critical business operations to bring their ideas and talent to a system that is in desperate need of reform.
We also support HRSA’s plan to modernize the IT infrastructure, install an OPTN board of directors independent of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), and to develop a public dashboard of key measures. For several years, NKF has advocated for these common-sense changes, as they are vital to creating a patient-centric organ donation and transplant system while improving accountability for the ethical stewardship of organs as a precious, life-saving resource.
Patients are the heart of all we do at NKF. We will continue to advocate on their behalf and are committed to working with HRSA and Congress to develop a new system that benefits patients, honors donors, and will save more lives.”
About the National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org.