Following Day One Project Recommendations, CMS Finalizes Policy to Boost Transparency & Increase the Number of Lifesaving Organs Available for Transplant 


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a policy that will increase the number of available lifesaving organs for transplant by holding Organ Procurement Organizations accountable. In a memo published by the Day One Project in January 2020, Donna Cryer, Jennifer Erickson, Crystal Gadegbeku, Greg Segal, and Abe Sutton offered a comprehensive proposal to solve the organ-donation crisis including recommending a proposed rule change through HHS to boost transparency and competition of Organ Procurement Organizations. Today, the Day One Project released the following statement on the CMS policy and the push for next steps to address the organ-donation crisis:


“We applaud the Department of Health and Human Services for finalizing a new rule to bring much-needed oversight to organ procurement organizations. The Day One Project published recommendations from leading experts calling for such reforms last January, which were discussed in an interview between philanthropist Laura Arnold and HHS Secretary Alex Azar. We are excited to see HHS follow the data and bring these reforms to bear in a way that can save thousands of lives and billions of taxpayer dollars.


Because COVID-19 increases the risk of organ failure, these reforms more urgent than ever. By boosting accountability for OPOs, these pro-patient, data-informed regulations will save an additional 7,300 lives every year, and mark an important step toward addressing the racial inequity in the organ donation system.


According to a new report from the Bridgespan Group, OPO reform can also save taxpayers as much as $40 billion over 10 years through avoided dialysis costs by increasing kidney transplants. This is, in part, why OPO reform has received such broad, bipartisan support, and we urge the Biden-Harris Administration to prioritize these reforms on Day One. Put simply, organ donation reform is a critical health care equity issue.


We support ongoing bipartisan oversight efforts from the Senate Finance Committee to continue investigation into the organ transplant system and boost accountability and support calls for HHS to streamline organ donation oversight through the establishment of an Office of Organ Policy."


Read more about the CMS rule change here. Read the Day One Project proposal for addressing the organ donor crisis here.


Since its launch in January 2020, the Day One Project has engaged with hundreds of academics, policymakers, current and former government officials, and students to build a portfolio of innovative and actionable ideas across science, technology, and innovation policy to inform the priorities of the next Administration. Follow the Project on Twitter and LinkedIn