The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, announced major steps to reform and modernize the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN).
In a March 22, 2023 news release, HRSA announced its “Modernization Initiative” that will:
- Share information on transplant center and organ procurement organization performance, including organ retrieval, waitlist outcomes, and transplants via data dashboards.
- Improve OPTN governance, transparency, and accountability. A 2023 study found that Organ Procurement Organization performance can vary widely.
- Seek and award competitive contracts to manage the OPTN besides the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), and ensure OPTN Board of Directors’ independence.
- Request a Congressional update to the National Organ Transplant Act to remove the appropriations cap on OPTN contracts and expand the pool of eligible contract entities.
- Increase funding for organ procurement and transplantation. The President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget proposal includes a $36 million increase over Fiscal Year 2023 for a total of $67 million.
- Modernize the OPTN IT system in cooperation with the United States Digital Service (USDS) for greater security and performance.
“Every day, patients and families across the United States rely on the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to save the lives of their loved ones who experience organ failure,” said HRSA Administration Carole Johnson. “At HRSA, our stewardship and oversight of this vital work is a top priority. That is why we are taking action to both bring greater transparency to the system and to reform and modernize the OPTN. The individuals and families that depend on this life-saving work deserve no less.”
A HRSA website will provide information and updates about the initiative.
HRSA announces Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network modernization initiative. News release. Health Resources and Services Administration; March 22, 2023.