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OPO Performance Tier

Passing
Underperforming
Failing

National organ transplant waiting list as of September 30, 2021

106,801

Number of Americans projected to die before an OPO loses its contract

60,000+

Average reported CEO compensation for failing OPOs

$479,581

An astounding lack of accountability and oversight in the nation’s creaking, monopolistic organ transplant system is allowing hundreds of thousands of potential organ donations to fall through the cracks.
New York Times editorial board

OPO REFORM IS AN URGENT EQUITY ISSUE

Patients of color are less likely to receive organ transplants than white patients because of inferior OPO service.

We must drive reforms to hold OPOs accountable.

REP. KATIE PORTER HIGHLIGHTS OPO ABUSES

On May 4, 2021, the House Oversight Committee held a bipartisan hearing about OPO performance failures as well as fraud, waste and abuse. Rep. Katie Porter grilled the CEO of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations about anti-patient lobbying and a whistleblower account regarding an OPO executive who used the OPO’s private jet for vacation instead of organ recovery.

See the full video

They Survived Covid. Now They Need New Lungs.

They Survived Covid. Now They Need New Lungs.

He survived Covid-19, but his lungs were ravaged. After months of deep sedation, he is delirious, his muscles atrophied. And this 61-year-old still cannot breathe on his own.

Read more from NYT

New Organ Donation Rule Is A Win For Black Patients And Health Equity

New Organ Donation Rule Is A Win For Black Patients And Health Equity

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently finalized reforms targeted at the government contractors that run the organ donation system.

Read more from Health Affairs Blog

Senate Republicans seek probe of organ transplant system

Senate Republicans seek probe of organ transplant system

Some OPOs have transferred millions of dollars to foundations they’ve established, which have paid for such things as jets, parties and parade floats, the groups’ Internal Revenue Service records show.

Read more from Washington Post

New Regulation for Organ Procurement Will Improve Equity and Save Lives

New Regulation for Organ Procurement Will Improve Equity and Save Lives

In the more than 35 years since federal legislation created OPOs to recover organs from deceased donors for transplantation, there has been a disparity in their performance, with the best OPOs recovering organs from four times as many donors as the worst OPOs by objective criteria.

Read more from The Hastings Center

Heartless: Organ Donation Contractors Lobby Against a Popular Health Care Initiative While Pocketing Pandemic Relief Loans

Heartless: Organ Donation Contractors Lobby Against a Popular Health Care Initiative While Pocketing Pandemic Relief Loans

“This industry’s attempts to block efforts to implement metrics to hold OPOs accountable for their poor performance only further underscores the need for oversight.”

Read more from POGO.org

How organ and tissue donation companies worked their way into the county morgue

How organ and tissue donation companies worked their way into the county morgue

Even before the new laws passed, coroners rarely said no when companies asked to procure hearts, kidneys or other vital organs. But coroners often rejected requests to harvest tissues such as skin and bone when they thought it would upend a death investigation.

Read more from LA Times

He died when he got the wrong lungs. It wasn’t the only organ error in SC that day.

He died when he got the wrong lungs. It wasn’t the only organ error in SC that day.

After the blood type of a South Carolina organ donor was incorrectly identified, a man in Charleston who’d received the donor’s lungs died and another patient in Tennessee who received the liver was gravely injured.

Read more from Post and Courier

Lawmakers Lambast Organ Procurement Lobbyists

Lawmakers Lambast Organ Procurement Lobbyists

Organ procurement organizations (OPOs) have been exploiting taxpayers for decades -- NHL and NFL season tickets, board meetings in California wine country, private jets chartered for organ delivery but hijacked for CEO jaunts -- all while failing to do what they're supposed to do: procure organs for needy patients.

Read more from MedPage Today

Recent Organ Procurement Organization Regulations Will Save Lives

Recent Organ Procurement Organization Regulations Will Save Lives

Every major patient group engaged on this issue — including the Global Liver Institute, National Kidney Foundation, American Society of Nephrology, the Boomer Esiason Foundation, Organize, and families directly affected by the organ shortage, as well as advocacy groups ranging from Families USA to FreedomWorks — have universally supported HHS’s new OPO metrics.

Read more from Harvard Petrie-Flom Blog