Nephrologists and surgeons believe more reimbursement and compensation opportunities should be available for living kidney donors, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
In the United States, more than 100,000 people are waiting for a lifesaving kidney transplant. However, only 16,896 kidney transplants took place in 2013, only 5,733 of which came from living donors. Researched interviewed 110 transplant nephrologists and surgeons from 12 different countries.
These doctors strongly supported full reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, accommodation, transportation, and childcare costs associated with organ donation. Many participants agreed that donors should receive compensation in the form of payment for lost income and inconvenience, as long as these payments didn’t give an undue financial benefit to the donor.
Currently, payment for donation of any kind is prohibited in many countries. Those that do have reimbursement policies often structure them in confusing, difficult-to-navigate ways. A minority of interviewees agreed with a limited, government-regulated trial of financial incentives for living kidney donation. Most interviewees thought financial incentives brought up too many ethical, moral, socioeconomic, and feasibility issues.
Many participants expressed interest in testing and studying the effects of tax breaks, discounted or free insurance premiums, and life insurance and wait-list priority for donors in an effort to strengthen all living donor systems around the world. Researchers believe the study’s findings will help inform future government policies to promote ethical living kidney donation and remove disincentives.
Transplant nephrologists and surgeons believe there aren’t enough reimbursement and compensation opportunities available for living kidney donors, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Interviews with 110 transplant nephrologists and surgeons from 12 different countries revealed strong support for full reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills, accommodation, transportation and childcare costs associated with organ donation.
Compensation in the form of payment for lost income and inconvenience was also agreeable to many interviewees, as long as payments didn’t provide an undue financial benefit to a donor.