New quality measures for organ transplantation finalized

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CMS finalized a rule that revamps quality reporting measures with the goal of boosting transparency in the organ procurement and transplantation process, according to the agency.

The rule updates the Organ Procurement Organization Conditions for Coverage needed to be reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid. The final rule is designed to help the more than 100,000 people in the U.S. on a waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant, according to CMS.

The rule creates two new objective measures designed to increase incentives to use all available organs and to actually transplant them. One measures the number of organs an OPO has gotten from eligible donors in its donation service area. The other measures the rate of transplantation as opposed to procurement of the organs alone. The previous measures created a disincentive to go after all available organs.

Also under the new rules, underperforming OPOs will compete for their contracts and the worst performers will be unable to renew their contracts, the CMS said in a release. There are 58 OPOs in the U.S., each with its own designated area.

“Thousands of Americans are languishing on organ waitlists, and twenty Americans every day die waiting for an organ,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma, in the release. “This is unacceptable,” she said.

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