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Authors Hays RE, Thomas AE, Mathias E, Mezrich J, Mandelbrot DA
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Journal Clin Transplant Volume: 31 Issue: 2
Publish Date 2017 Feb
PubMed ID 27888522
Abstract

Living organ donation involves significant out-of-pocket costs, which burden donor candidates and may be an obstacle to donation. There is a single US grant (the National Living Donor Assistance Center-NLDAC) to cover live donor travel costs. Although there may be center-specific variability in grant utilization, prospective donors-and their intended recipients-must also meet eligibility criteria. In fact, the NLDAC grant is used by <10% of US live donors annually. We studied 154 consecutive kidney donor clinic evaluations (November 1, 2014-August 30, 2015) to determine eligibility and usage patterns during the evaluation process. Of these, 63 (41%) were local, had travel benefits, or declined. Of the remaining 91 prospective donors who might have benefited from grant support, only 29 (32%) obtained the grant. The other 62 (68%) did not meet eligibility screening. The major reason prospective donors were ineligible was that the recipient’s household income was outside the required means test (ie, >300% of the federal poverty level) (n=51; 82%). The remaining exclusions (n=11; 18%) included being a nondirected donor, not meeting residency requirements, and “other.” Expanding NLDAC eligibility criteria-by broadening the recipient means test or by taking steps to eliminate it from the NLDAC charter-would reduce financial burdens associated with live donation.

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