Kidney foundation offers plan for reimbursing donors

The National Kidney Foundation has a proposed a plan under which families of deceased and living donors be reimbursed for costs and medical care related to the donation. The new policy includes a recommendation that living donors be offered lifelong coverage for any medical problem related to their donation.

The announcement represents a major policy shift for the group, which had previously taken a stand against offering donors or donor families any form of compensation. Foundation officials said that eliminating financial barriers to donations, along with improvements in education and medical practice, could cut the wait for a kidney from five years to less than one year over the next decade.

In making these policy changes, the Foundation is hoping to address the worsening kidney donor shortage. Right now, there are 78,000 Americans waiting for a kidney transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Meanwhile, the gap between the number of patients waiting for a transplant and the number of transplants being performed has shot up 110 percent over the past 10 years.

To learn more about the NKF policy change:
- read this American Medical News piece

Related Article:
Study: Kidney donors do well over long term