The NKF Applauds Groundbreaking CMS Policy to Increase Kidney Transplantation


~Transformative Proposal Helps Thousands of Kidney Patients~

(May 8, 2024, New York, NY)The following is a statement from Kevin Longino, Chief Executive Officer of the National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant recipient, on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed Increasing Organ Transplant Access alternative payment model.

          The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) commends CMS and its Innovation Center for their proposed Increasing Organ Transplant Access alternative payment model (IOTA model). This proposal has the potential to significantly enhance the likelihood of a kidney transplant for the nearly 90,000 individuals on the national kidney transplant waitlist and instill hope in the more than 500,000 people currently dependent on dialysis to live.

            While we are still reviewing many elements of the proposal, the NKF strongly supports its objective of improving overall rates of transplantation. Currently, approximately 20-25% of deceased donor kidneys recovered for transplant are not transplanted, which is a disservice to those who donate their kidneys, their families, and the countless kidney patients who must remain on dialysis to live. Therefore, it is fundamentally necessary to reform the transplant ecosystem to one that honors organ donors and their selfless, life-saving gifts. The IOTA model will also uphold the responsibility of organ procurement and transplant professionals to deliver high-quality care resulting in better health outcomes that close disparities in access to the life-saving treatment of kidney transplantation that every kidney patient deserves.

            The NKF appreciates the proposal’s efforts to enhance transparency in the transplant process. The requirement for transplant centers to disclose their transplant eligibility criteria, the number of organs declined on behalf of patients, and the reasons why they were declined is a significant step forward. This move addresses a long-standing need for patients to have a clearer understanding of the transplant process.

           Further, the NKF applauds the CMS Innovation Center for prioritizing living donation into the IOTA model, knowing there is a limited quantity of deceased donor kidneys available for transplant. The NKF also hopes to see improved system accountability and a decline in organ waste with the implementation of the IOTA model. This proposal by the CMS Innovation Center, in tandem with the Health Resources and Services Administrative’s endeavor to modernize the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), is a vital action to best serve patients who depend on the United States transplant system to live.

            To learn more about kidney disease and how to maintain optimal kidney health, visit

About the National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation is revolutionizing the fight to save lives by eliminating preventable kidney disease, accelerating innovation for the dignity of the patient experience, and dismantling structural inequities in kidney care, dialysis, and transplantation. For more information about kidney disease, please visit