Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Hospital Conditions of Participation; Identification of Potential Organ, Tissue, and Eye Donors and Transplant Hospitals' Provision of Transplant-Related Data

OGC-98-58: Published: Jul 7, 1998. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 1998.


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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA) new rule on Medicare and Medicaid programs' hospital conditions on participation, identification of potential organ, tissue, and eye donors, and transplant hospitals' provision of transplant-related data. GAO noted that: (1) the rule would: (a) revise current hospital conditions of participation relating to organ procurement by modifying the relationship between hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in order to increase the number of organs available for donation and transplantation; (b) require that a hospital have an agreement with an OPO, under which it will contact the OPO in a timely manner about individuals who die or whose death is imminent in the hospital; (c) require hospitals to have an agreement with at least one tissue bank and eye bank for referrals; (d) require hospitals to collaborate with the OPO in notifying families of potential donors of their donation options and work cooperatively with OPOs, tissue, and eye banks, in educating hospital staff on donation issues, reviewing death records to improve identification of potential donors, and maintaining potential donors while testing and placement of organs occurs; and (e) require transplant hospitals to provide organ-transplant-related data as requested by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, the Scientific Registry, and OPOs; and (2) HCFA complied with applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.

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