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AOPO Partners with CMS in Effort to Address National Kidney Shortage

November 15, 2021 11:59 AM EST

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50K Organ Transplants Annually by 2026 Campaign Already Providing Key Insight

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) was selected as one of the partner organizations to join the End Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices Learning Collaborative (ETCLC) Leadership Coordinating Council (LCC). This effort, led by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) will focus on addressing kidney disease prevention and treatment, including improved access to kidney transplants in the United States.

As part of the LCC, AOPO will ensure the lessons learned, best practices identified, and results of the ETCLC are shared and recommended for implementation throughout the OPO community. In addition, Lisa Stocks, AOPO President-Elect and Executive Director, LifeSharing, has been named a co-chair of the national faculty and will be joined on the faculty by AOPO Executive Committee members Rick Hasz, Vice President of Clinical Services, Gift of Life Donor Program, and Colleen McCarthy, Vice President for Organ and Tissue Donation, Versiti. The faculty members will provide subject matter expertise on behalf of organ procurement organizations (OPOs).

“We are pleased to be a leader in this Learning Collaborative that will improve the way we facilitate the recovery and transplantation of kidneys in this country,” says Jan Finn, RN, MSN, AOPO President, and President and CEO, Midwest Transplant Network. “AOPO has already begun to move the needle forward on this effort through its 50K Organ Transplants Annually by 2026 Campaign. We are looking past the goal of 40K organ transplants by 2026 set by CMS because we believe OPOs, and the entire donation and transplantation system, can do better. One of the goals of our campaign is to increase the number of kidneys recovered by OPOs and maximize organ utilization by transplant centers to save more patient lives on the waiting list.”

With AOPO’s support, the ETCLC will engage transplant centers, OPOs, large donor hospitals, patients, and donor family members to identify highly effective practices currently in use and establish a knowledge sharing process to spread these practices throughout the organ procurement, kidney care, and kidney transplant community to achieve the following three aims:

AIM #1 Increase the number of deceased donor kidneys transplanted by 15%

AIM #2 Decrease the current national discard rate of all procured kidneys by 5%

AIM #3 Increase kidneys recovered and utilized from medically complex donors by 14%

Supported by coaches, national faculty, and professional and patient advocacy groups, the ETCLC plans to enroll 80% of transplant centers and OPOs plus the two largest donor hospitals in each OPO’s donor service area into 25 Quality Improvement Teams. These teams will participate, collaborate, and change practices to meet the ETCLC aims. Information will also be shared through the End State Renal Disease Networks and more than 20 professional and patient advocacy organizations, including AOPO, which have committed to support the ETCLC.

“So far, there has been an extraordinary turnout by OPOs and more than 90% have already joined the Learning Collaborative. The ETCLC recognizes that OPOs are one piece of a larger system and true success comes from donor families, hospitals, OPOs, and transplant programs working together toward these common goals,” says AOPO CEO Steve Miller, CAE, MBA. “Through this effort and our 50K campaign, we will save more lives.”

Shawn Flaherty, 703-554-3609
Sandra Remey, 301-467-9024

Source: Association of Organ Procurement Organizations



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