HHS to break up, reorganize organ transplant system

On March 22, the Biden administration signaled an end to the nearly 40-year monopoly of the United Network for Organ Sharing, a national nonprofit weighed down by criticisms of using outdated technology and mix-ups leading to deaths

The Health Resources and Services Administration unveiled a new initiative aimed at improving the "accountability, equity, and performance in the organ donation and transplantation system," the HHS agency said in a news release. As part of this plan, UNOS will be broken up in a bid to foster competition, The New York Times reported. 

For decades, UNOS — a third-party contractor — controlled the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found inequities in the system, and the academies said it suffered from a "significant nonuse of donated organs," the Times reported. 

In fall 2022, it marked its millionth organ transplant. Currently, more than 100,000 people are on the national waiting list, according to HRSA, and 17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant.

A report revealed UNOS' reliance on older technology that's vulnerable to security issues, and the HHS inspector general urged the department to revamp its cybersecurity oversight of UNOS. Officials are now seeking bidders willing to upgrade the network with new technology.

The HRSA said its new initiative "puts patients first, prioritizes information flow to clinicians, promotes innovation through continuous competition, and enhances transparency and accountability."

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars