New National Rule Aims to Reduce Racial Bias in Kidney Transplants


Feb 16, 2023

 New National Rule Aims to Reduce Racial Bias in Kidney Transplants

New National Rule Aims to Reduce Racial Bias in Kidney Transplants

A new national rule in the United States is set to remove a racially biased test in determining who gets a kidney transplant. The change is expected to reduce the median wait time for black patients on the list and improve access to care for historically underserved communities.

Racial Disparities in Kidney Transplants

Historically, black patients have had to wait longer for kidney transplants than other races. This is in part due to an outdated test that overestimated kidney function in African Americans. The test, which was based on race, did not take into account other factors such as age and gender, leading to inaccurate results.

Black people are four times more likely to be diagnosed with kidney failure than white people, and the median wait time for black patients added to the list in 2014 was 64 months compared to 37 months for white patients.

This disparity in access to care is unacceptable and has led to unnecessary suffering and loss of life for many patients.

Removing the Racially Biased Test

The new national rule will ban the racially biased test and instruct every kidney transplant program to credit affected black patients with time. Black patients on the list are expected to receive a letter from their transplant program, and the average black patient could get a kidney between one and two years sooner than before.

The change is expected to improve access to care for black patients, who have historically been underserved and disproportionately affected by kidney disease. It is also a step towards restorative justice in medicine, acknowledging and rectifying past injustices that have led to racial disparities in healthcare.

Hope for Patients

For patients like Crystal Higgins, who has been waiting for a kidney transplant for six years, the change brings hope.

"The alternative is not being alive anymore. So, I want to see my daughter grow up. I know it's harder on her to watch her mom. I've been sick her whole life," she said.

While the change may have come too late for some, it is an important step towards improving access to care for all patients, regardless of race. The ban on the racially biased test is a critical first step, but there is still much work to be done to address systemic racism in healthcare and ensure that all patients receive the care they need and deserve.

How You Can Give

You can save a life and donate a kidney; you can find out in this article.


This article is based on this story by NBC. You can view the original video here.

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Black patients face historically longer waiting times for kidney transplants due to outdated test

About the Author

Rich Foreman brings over 30 years of technology leadership to his role of CEO and Co-Founder of KidneySoft.  As founding CTO, Rich led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. Cordico was honored with the Sacramento Innovation Award in 2021. After achieving a 7 digit ARR, Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to and StartupSac. Rich was the Co-founder of Apptology which was named Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber. He was also the Founding Chief Technology Officer at Cordico. Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020.  Rich also served 4 years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.

Patient Education Disclaimer

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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