Data on U.S. Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO)

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ranks OPOs into 3 different tiers based on their performance. Rankings incorporate the number of donors and the number of organs transplanted. The majority of the nation’s OPOs are failing to meet Tier 1 standards, leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths each year, which disproportionately harm patients of color. The map below shows the current ranking of U.S. OPOs by location, based on the most recent data available (2020). Find more information here


OPO Performance Tier

Passing
Underperforming
Failing

Cost of OPO Performance Failures

National organ transplant waiting list as of August 1, 2022

105,872

Number of Americans in 2021 who died each day because they didn’t get a needed transplant

31

Annual cost to Medicare of dialysis

$36 billion

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.

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.

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Organ donation in the news

House Oversight subcommittee held bipartisan hearing on urgently needed reforms in organ transplant industry

On May 4, 2021, the House Oversight Committee held a bipartisan hearing about OPO performance failures as well as fraud, waste and abuse.

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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

America’s Transformative New Organ Donation Rule Goes into Effect Over Objections from Monopolistic Contractors

America’s Transformative New Organ Donation Rule Goes into Effect Over Objections from Monopolistic Contractors

Public filings by organ procurement organizations and their lobbyists indicate that lobbying expenditures have risen by nearly 500% since 2017—in addition to other undisclosed influence spending on law firms and public relations advisors—apparently designed to stop or weaken the proposed changes.

Read more from Project on Government Oversight (POGO)