Distributive policy

Nation’s liver distribution policy must be reversed, say Moran, Blunt, colleagues

The National Liver Distribution Policy is disproportionately harmful to patients living in the Midwest and South and must be reversed by the Biden administration, say U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Roy Blunt (R -MO) and 14 of their colleagues.

In a Jan. 24 letter to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra, the senators urged him to reverse the administration’s “biased, partial, and unfair allocation policy” and given Becerra 30 days to provide a plan. the question.

In their letter, the senators referenced emails released between the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and organ procurement organizations regarding the national liver allocation policy which they say show a pattern. of collusion between UNOS and others prior to liver allocation policy changes.

The emails were published in response to a Nov. 17, 2021, ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit against UNOS – HHS’s contractor for the supply and transplantation of bodies – which found that UNOS “repeatedly failed to meet production obligations” to disclose documents in ongoing litigation. The court also acknowledged that the documents showed “personal opinions about the relative merits of living in different parts of the United States.”

“Mr. Secretary, these emails show, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the liver award decision was fundamentally flawed and the agency charged with executing it is systematically broken,” the senator wrote. Moran, Senator Blunt and their colleagues.”In particular, the adoption of the Liver Allocation Policy was fraught with inconsistencies, a lack of transparency and blatant violations by UNOS in determining the Politics.”

They also pointed out that in all cases such concerns were brought to the attention of HHS, they were ignored.

For example, the senators wrote that congressional action on their concerns ranged from letters to the Secretary of HHS and the Chief of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to questions at committee hearings, to the language included in several appropriations bills, requests to the Government Accountability Office and National Academy of Sciences to evaluate the process, and letters to UNOS.

“In addition to concerns raised by members of Congress, more than a dozen transplant hospitals have sued the department in federal court to reverse allocation changes for three different organs – lungs, liver, and kidneys. “, they wrote. “These actions make it clear that there is no unanimous, or even majority, agreement on the sweeping changes underway in organ allocation policy.”

And because HHS ceded the power to ensure a fair and equitable organ distribution process to a private contractor with virtually no HHS or HRSA oversight, liability issues exist, according to their letter.

Among the lawmakers who also signed the letter were the Senses. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Todd Young (R-IN).