US Government Unveils Plan to Revamp Organ Transplant System


Mar 23, 2023

US Government Unveils Plan to Revamp Organ Transplant System

US Government Announces Plan to Overhaul Organ Transplant System

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, revealed plans on Wednesday to revamp the nation's organ transplant system. The focus will be on accountability and transparency by seeking additional contracts to operate the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and sharing data more openly.

Criticisms of the Current System

The nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has exclusively managed the system until now, but it has recently faced criticism for its organ handling, lengthy transplant waitlists, and the number of deaths among those waiting, which amounts to approximately 6,000 annually. Over 100,000 people in the United States are currently on organ transplant waitlists.

HRSA's Priorities and New Data Dashboard

HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson emphasized that organ transplant oversight is a "top priority." She added that the agency is taking action to increase transparency and reform the OPTN to better serve individuals and families relying on life-saving organ transplants.

HRSA plans to introduce a new data dashboard that will offer details about individual transplant centers and organ procurement, covering aspects such as organ retrieval, waitlists, transplants, and demographics.

Modernizing the OPTN IT System

Additionally, the agency will update the OPTN's IT system, which a Senate Finance Committee report last year described as "outdated, mismanaged, and insecure." The upgrades aim to enhance governance and transparency.

Key Priorities and Budget Proposal

The agency's efforts will focus on key priorities, such as addressing the needs of over 100,000 people awaiting transplants, maintaining the system's round-the-clock life-saving capabilities, and ensuring patient safety and health. HRSA also highlighted that President Joe Biden's 2024 budget proposal requested an increase in funding for organ procurement and transplantation, totaling $67 million, and urged Congress to modernize old regulations surrounding appropriations and contracts for organ transplants to boost competition.

UNOS's Response and Senate Finance Committee Report

UNOS expressed support for the government's plan and welcomed a competitive and open bidding process for the next OPTN contract to optimize life-saving efforts and equity. The organization believes it has the necessary experience and expertise to serve the nation's patients and implement HRSA's proposed initiatives.

A Senate Finance Committee report released last year identified 70 deaths caused by system failures in the OPTN from 2010 to 2020 and highlighted considerable room for improvement in the management of organ transplants in the US. The report concluded that the current transplant network was failing, putting American lives at risk.


This video from NBC News discusses this issue in-depth.

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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.

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