On April 4, 2014 the National Kidney Foundation, sent a request to the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committee to increase funding to support organ transplantation oversight and financial assistance in 2015, along with other organizations in the transplant community. The Appropriations Committee is responsible for allocating Federal discretionary funds to various government programs. NKF supports an increase of half million dollars in funding for the Health Resource Services Administration’s (HRSA) Department of Transplantation (DoT) so it can continue to provide oversight and funding for the nation’s transplantation system and donation research. Additionally, this funding increase would ensure that DoT can continue to provide assistance to low-income living donors for certain out-of-pocket expenses related to their donation that might otherwise prevent these individuals from donating their kidneys. These programs are vital to increasing successful transplantation rates and ensuring safe and more equitable allocation of organs.
You can read the letter to Appropriations below:
Dear Chairmen Harkin and Kingston, and Ranking Members Moran and DeLauro:
On behalf of the Transplant Roundtable, a coalition of organ transplant patient, professional, and related organizations, the undersigned urge you to adopt the President’s budget request of $24,000,000 for FY 2015 for the organ donation and transplantation programs run by the Division of Transplantation (DoT) within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This represents a $0.5 million increase in funding over the enacted FY 2014 funding level.
We thank you for your long-standing commitment to these programs and ask again for your assistance as these and other programs funded through DoT are very worthy of additional federal investment as they produce a major return on this investment, year after year.
Adoption of a $0.5 million increase in funding for FY 2015 would make a real difference. DoT’s role and function is essential, providing oversight and funding for the nation’s organ procurement, allocation, and transplantation system through the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) including coordination of all organ and tissue donation activities and funds donation research. Also, DoT provides funding for travel and subsistence expenses of living donors whose low income may otherwise prohibit them from donating through the National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC). All of these activities translate into saving lives and improving the quality of life of scores of individuals throughout the country.
As of March 2014, the national patient waiting list for organ transplants contained more than 121,655 listings and these numbers continue to grow. The total number of transplants during 2013 was approximately 29,000, with more than 14,000 donors during that same time period. On average, 79 people receive organ transplants every day; however, 18 people die each day waiting for transplants that do not occur because of the shortage of donated organs, according to DoT data.
Because of your leadership, the critical work of the agencies, and private sector allies, transplantation has saved and enhanced or saved the lives of more than 600,000 people in the United States, greatly reducing the number of deaths on the waiting list, and generating substantial savings to the Medicare program.
We all should be very proud of our contribution to facilitating and providing these life-saving services, but we need your continued leadership to protect this vital, federal commitment to funding these programs and fulfilling this mission. Therefore, we ask you to again champion federal funding for organ donation and transplantation programs run through HRSA. On behalf of transplant patients and their families, thank you for your leadership on transplantation and organ donation activities.
If you have any questions, please contact Peter Thomas, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-466-6550.
American Society of Transplant Surgeons
American Society of Transplantation
Association of Organ Procurement Organizations
Dialysis Patient Citizens
Eye Bank Association of America
Transplant Recipients International Organization
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
NATCO, the Organization for Transplant Professionals
Alliance for Paired Donation
Texas Transplant Society
United Network for Organ Sharing
National Kidney Foundation
American Association of Kidney Patients
American Society of Pediatric Nephrology
Renal Physicians Association
American Society of Nephrology
PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation