CHA News Article

UNOS Votes to Change Distribution Policy for Transplant Livers

In an overwhelmingly positive development for California patients and hospitals, this week the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) voted to change the way livers for transplantation are distributed.

Previously, UNOS based the distribution on 11 arbitrary geographic regions, with a liver from a deceased donor offered to the sickest compatible person in that region, even if there were sicker compatible patients in greater need elsewhere in the nation. The new policy will extend the geographic boundaries of each region by a 150-mile radius.

Last month, in advance of this week’s meeting, CHA and members of California’s transplant community sent a letter to the UNOS board voicing strong support for the Acuity Circle Model, which is demonstrated to most significantly reduce disparity in liver allocation.

CHA has advocated tirelessly for a change in the policy. While there are only 13 liver transplant centers in California, all hospitals have an interest in this issue because they care for patients on the transplant waiting list.