In a Friday, October 4, Washington Post opinion piece, former White House Office of Science and Technology Policy staffer Jennifer Erickson calls for a reform of the current United States organ procurement system. Erickson cites research that "thousands of organs go unrecovered every year from potential donors across the country." These missed opportunities for organ recovery occur, she argues, due to mismanagement by organ procurement organizations (OPOs), the nonprofit government contractors responsible for organ procurement and placement. Because OPOs self-report their own performance data, the reporting is “functionally useless” with “no system accountability,” said Erickson’s former colleague from the Obama administration U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil.
The White House announced Tuesday that the administration is taking action on two policy priorities for ASN: improving the data used to evaluate Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) and removing financial barriers to living donation.
The Unified Spring Agenda, released May 22, provides insight into which issues the administration will address through a proposed rule process in the coming months. ASN urged Secretary Azar and other senior administration officials to address these issues during a February meeting and applauds its bold leadership on both fronts.