ASN Raises Profile of Transplant Network Modernization as Congressional Funding Talks Begin

Zachary Kribs Zachary Kribs is the manager of congressional affairs at ASN.

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On March 11, 2024, the White House released the fiscal year (FY) 2025 president's budget, kickstarting congressional action to fund the government for the FY that spans October 1, 2024–September 30, 2025. Still operating under a series of temporary funding agreements, named continuing resolutions, for FY 24, Congress will spend the rest of April developing its funding proposal for FY 25.

As Congress considers these proposals, ASN is leading efforts to secure a significant $67 million investment for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). In 2023, ASN and stakeholders in the kidney health community successfully advocated for passage of the Securing the US OPTN Act, legislation to increase transparency, accountability, and competition in the management of the nation's transplant system. These changes are now included as part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) OPTN Modernization Initiative, a sweeping set of reforms to “better serve patients in need of transplants and their families” (1).

For these changes to be fully implemented, Congress must now increase the funding provided to the transplant network. According to the HRSA, funding will be used to launch the construction of a new information technology infrastructure to support the transplant system, support a new independent board of directors, and support the development of a transition plan to a modernized transplant system.

This month, advocates from ASN will travel to Washington, DC, to advocate with their members of Congress for investing in the transformation of the transplant system. The OPTN Modernization Initiative represents the first significant reform of the transplant system since its inception in 1984. ASN and stakeholders across the kidney and transplant communities are urging Congress to fully take advantage of the opportunity brought by these reforms to increase the number of transplants performed in the United States, generating better outcomes for patients.

In addition to requesting an increase in funding for modernizing the transplant system, ASN will continue to champion longstanding priorities such as increasing funding for kidney health research innovation and supporting the health workforce through graduate medical education funding.

On March 8, 2024, Congress passed partial Medicare physician payment relief as a component of a package to fund part of the government. Starting in calendar year 2024, physicians participating in Medicare had been experiencing a 3.37% cut to the conversion factor as well as facing the expiration of a 3.5% bonus for participation in an alternative payment model (APM). Responding to advocacy by ASN and stakeholders from across the field of medicine, Congress reduced the conversion factor cut by an additional 1.68% and extended the APM bonus for another year at 1.88%.



Department of Health and Human Services; Health Resources and Services Administration. Fiscal year 2025. Justification of estimates for Appropriations Committees.

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