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Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Modernization Initiative

HRSA's Progress on Transforming the Organ Transplant System to Better Serve Patients and Families

June 2024 Update

HRSA has taken historic steps in launching and implementing its Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Modernization Initiative to improve transparency, performance, governance, and efficiency of the organ donation and transplantation system for the more than 100,000 people who are on the organ transplant waitlist.

A key part of these efforts is creating and supporting a truly independent OPTN Board of Directors to facilitate transparent, accountable OPTN governance with oversight from HRSA. For our next step in advancing this vision, HRSA is incorporating the OPTN Board of Directors as a distinct entity with the necessary resources and support to fulfill its responsibilities. Incorporating the Board in this manner:

  • Ensures that the OPTN Board is fully separated from the corporate board of the current and future OPTN contractors;
  • Creates safeguards against conflicts of interest and undue influence from OPTN contractors or industry;
  • Allows the volunteers who make up the OPTN Board to focus on their statutory responsibilities of developing and governing organ allocation policies, membership criteria and membership standards;
  • Improves HRSA’s ability to maintain oversight over the OPTN as a whole; and
  • Facilitates greater collaboration between the OPTN Board of Directors and HRSA to ensure a fair, transparent, and effective organ procurement and transplantation system.

This approach represents our latest action in implementing the Securing the U.S. OPTN Act signed into law by President Biden last year.

The newly incorporated Board entity will be implemented by June 30, 2024. This will be followed in the future by a series of additional efforts to strengthen OPTN governance as described in HRSA’s Board Support contract solicitation and previous updates. The movement from the legacy model to a modernized, multi-vendor environment with a separate Board of Directors will produce better outcomes for patients through specialization, expertise, focus, and greater accountability.

HRSA’s work is grounded in our mission to support the patients and families who rely on the national organ donation and transplantation system. In partnership with the newly established OPTN Board of Directors and stakeholders across the organ procurement and transplantation community, we will continue working urgently to create a future where anyone who needs a life-saving organ transplant, receives one.

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