New rules include reimbursing donors for lost wages, tightening standards for organ procurement organizations
TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Two new rules meant to increase organ transplants in the United States have been proposed by the federal government.
More than 113,000 people nationwide are on the waiting list for a transplant, and thousands die each year while waiting for a new organ, according to the Associated Press.
One of the new rules would permit reimbursement to donors for lost wages and child or elder care expenses they incur during hospitalization and recovery. Currently, donors’ medical bills are paid by the transplant recipients’ insurance, but donors are off work for weeks and not all employers offer paid time off, the AP reported.
The other new rule would tighten standards for organ procurement organizations (OPOs) that collect organs from deceased donors. Instead of OPOs self-reporting data, their donation and transplantation rates would be calculated using federal death records that show all the potential donors available to each OPO, the AP reported. This would allow federal officials to assess OPO performance and prod low-performing OPOs to match better-performing ones.
There is a 60-day public comment period before the new rules take effect.
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