Problems in Carrying Out the National Blood Policy

HRD-77-150: Published: Mar 7, 1978. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1978.

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The American Blood Commission was organized to carry out the National Blood Policy, a plan developed by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) for developing a safe, fast, and efficient blood collection and distribution system. The policy prescribed improvements in blood banking to include regionalized blood collection and distribution, transition to an all-voluntary blood donation system, and the rational alignment of charges and costs for blood services.

The Commission primarily develops and tests standards, guidelines, and procedures pertaining to blood banking. Factors which will make it difficult for the Commission to carry out its policy are: difficulties in obtaining funds to support its operations; disagreement between the two largest blood suppliers; possible opposition, especially from areas in which there are multiple suppliers of blood, to regionalized blood collecting and distributing; possible problems in obtaining data from blood banks by the National Blood Data Center; and lay members' lack of sufficient knowledge of blood banking. The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has not yet developed a system to relate costs and charges for blood services.

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