December 17, 2019

HHS Proposes Adopting Young’s Organ Donation Legislation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Todd Young today applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) announcement that it is proposing rules that would adopt performance measures Senator Young proposed in his legislation to bring greater accountability to nation’s organ donation system. The legislation is a culmination of years of research and leadership by Senator Young, dating back to his time in the U.S. House of Representatives. 


“In Indiana there are more than 1,300 Hoosiers currently in need of a transplant, and nationally more than 113,000 people are waiting on an organ. The best way to save lives is to bring greater transparency, oversight, and accountability to the organizations responsible for getting organs from the donors to the patients who need them. I’m glad HHS is adopting these measures, which I have proposed in my legislation, to bring greater accountability to organ procurement organizations that have been operating in darkness for too long,” said Senator Young


In April 2019, Senator Young wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services encouraging a change to their performance metrics for organ procurement organizations, known as OPOs. Senator Young then introduced legislation in July 2019 that aims to deliver more life-saving organs to patients by establishing clear, accountable metrics for OPOs. Currently, the 58 OPOs in the United States maintain control over the organ procurement process, but questions surround the effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of these organizations.


Senator Young’s legislation would require that OPOs be held to metrics that are objective, verifiable, and not subject to self-interpretation by OPOs so that there can be meaningful transparency, evaluation, and accountability for OPOs across the country. Currently, OPO performance is measured by data that is self-reported, unaudited, and fraught with errors.


Click here to read Senator Young’s op-ed on the need to reform the nation’s organ donation system.