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08/17/2022

Greg Segal Discusses Organ Procurement and Transplantation Policy Reform (August 16th)

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During its recent August 3rd hearing titled, “A System in Need of Repair: Addressing Organizational Failures of the U.S.’s Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network," Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Ron Wyden (D-OR), characterized efforts by the federally-contracted not for profit, UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) regarding organ procurement and transplant as grossly mismanaged and incompetent.  After a two plus year investigation that included reviewing over a half million pages of documents, the committee found efforts by UNOS and nation's over 55 Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs), rife with inefficiencies, medical errors and poor leadership, that combined helps to explain why, conservatively estimated, over 6,000 Americans, disproportionately minorities, die annually awaiting an organ.  Listeners will recall I interviewed Alfred and Blair Sadler in early June.  They, in part, discussed their work at NIH in the late 1960s drafting the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

During this 37-minute interview Mr. Segal begins by describing Organize's mission.  He next provides an overview of how the process of human organs are procured and transplanted, largely the work by UNOS and OPOs, identifies and discusses more substantive problems associated with the transplant process including the lack of financial, performance, transparency and regulatory pressures placed on OPOs.  These leads to Mr. Segal defining policy reform opportunities including requiring OPO's to report standardized process data and what action Senate Finance and the Congress should take, moreover, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) contract, under which UNOS is contracted, be significantly revised.                   

Mr. Greg Segal is the Founder and CEO of patient advocacy group, Organize.  The non-profit advocates for structural reforms to increase the supply Unnamed of lifesaving organ transplants every year.   Mr. Segal started Organize after his father waited five years for a heart transplant.  Organize served as Innovator in Residence in the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2015-2016.  The group's research has been heavily cited by the ongoing Congressional investigations from the Senate Finance Committee and the House Oversight Committee into the U.S. organ donation system.  Mr. Segal's writings regarding the need for data-driven reforms to organ monopolies have appeared in MedPage, Health Affairs, CNN, STAT and JAMA.   

Information on Organize is at: www.organize.org.

Documents related to the Senate Finance Committee's August 3rd hearing is at: https://www.finance.senate.gov/hearings/a-system-in-need-of-repair-addressing-organizational-failures-of-the-uss-organ-procurement-and-transplantation-network.  

 

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