On March 30th, 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration officially finalized a life-saving rule from November to revise outcome measures for Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs), the 57 government contractors tasked with coordinating organ donation. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) projects that minimum compliance with the rule will save 7,000 lives per year; additionally, projections show that Medicare will save $1 billion per year in foregone dialysis costs for those transplanted. COVID-19 has made these reforms even more urgent, as studies show the virus damages kidneys. Bipartisan congressional leaders have highlighted OPO reform as a critical health equity issue, as current system failures disproportionately harm patients of color. The rule takes effect for the 2022 recertification cycle, and will be updated by HHS as new data becomes available.
For latest OPO rankings, see opodata.org.
Research supported by Arnold Ventures and Schmidt Futures in partnership with Organize and the Federation of American Scientists.