ASN welcomes an initiative to modernize the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), which was recently announced by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The initiative includes the release of new organ donor and transplant data; prioritization of modernization of the OPTN IT system; and a call for Congress to make specific reforms to the National Organ Transplant Act.
“ASN believes that patients’ access to kidney transplant care is of life-or-death importance, and strongly supports HRSA’s efforts to expedite reforms that will maximize access to transplant care,” says ASN President Michelle A. Josephson, MD, FASN. “The policy changes announced today are a positive step in the right direction.”
More than 75,000 Americans are currently on the kidney waitlist. ASN stands by its advocacy efforts to improve care for kidney transplant patients and candidates by increasing OPTN accountability and transparency, as well as modernizing the underlying technology and policy infrastructure.
“Ensuring OPTN’s technology systems are fully modernized and leveraging their capabilities is a foundational step to improving the transparency and efficiency of the kidney health ecosystem and is a prerequisite to achieving ASN's goal of maximizing access to kidney transplantation,” adds Josephson. “I applaud HRSA’s public commitment to building that capacity and ensuring future systems better serve the needs of patients and their families.”
ASN has encouraged separating the OPTN contract into distinct pieces that can be bid on by multiple entities, aligning the contract with federal contracting protocols, increasing competition, and driving innovation—changes towards which HRSA’s announcement makes significant progress.
“ASN is committed to working iteratively with HRSA and Congress to ensure all aims announced today will be optimally implemented,” said ASN Policy and Advocacy Committee chair Roslyn B. Mannon, MD, FASN.
“ASN acknowledges that many simultaneous changes to the current kidney health ecosystem must occur urgently to achieve the goal of maximizing access to kidney transplantation and ensuring that access is equitable to all patients regardless of geography, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and gender, and ASN’s members, leaders, and staff look forward to working with Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services to do so moving forward.”