Providing coverage for the unique life‐long health care needs of living kidney donors within the framework of financial neutrality
J.S. Gill, F. L. Delmonico, S. Klarenbach, A. M. Capron
2016; Epub November 26
Organ donation should neither enrich nor impose financial burdens on donors. We describe the scope of health care required for all living kidney donors that reflects contemporary understanding of long-term donor health outcomes, propose an approach to identify donor health conditions which should be covered within the framework of financial neutrality, and propose strategies to pay for this care. Despite the Affordable Care Act in the United States, donors continue to have inadequate coverage for important health conditions that are either donation related or may compromise post-donation kidney function. Amendment of Medicare regulations is needed to clarify that surveillance and treatment of conditions that may compromise post-donation kidney function following donor nephrectomy will be covered without expense to the donor. In other countries lacking health insurance for all residents, sufficient data exist to allow creation of a compensation fund or donor insurance policies to ensure appropriate care. Providing coverage for donation-related sequelae as well as care to preserve post-donation kidney function ensures protection against the financial burdens of health care encountered by donors throughout their lifetime. Providing coverage for this care should thus be cost-effective even without considering the health care cost savings that occur in living donor transplant recipients.