How Can We Help Alleviate the Financial Concerns of Non-Directed (Altruistic) Living Kidney Donors?

Ariella Maghen, Georgina Mendoza, Grecia B. Vargas, Sarah E. Connor, Sima Nassiri, Lorna Kwan, Erika L. Wood, Jonathan Lalezari, Sarah Friedman, Amy D. Waterman, Sheba George, Sally L. Maliski, Jeffrey L. Veale

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Introduction: The recent increase in non-directed donors (NDDs) in the United States (U.S.) may help reduce the overwhelming number of patients on the waitlist. However, non-directed donation may be limiting its full potential. Out-of-pocket donation costs upward of $8,000 may be a barrier to potential donors with altruistic tendencies, but inadequate financial support. This study aimed to describe the financial concerns of 31 U.S. NDDs. Methods: We conducted qualitative interviews and administered quantitative demographic surveys between April 2013 and April 2015. Interview transcripts were analyzed using grounded theory techniques to describe and expand on themes relevant to the NDD experience. Findings: We identified 4 sub-themes related to the theme of financial concerns: (1) direct costs related to transportation, lodging, and parking, (2) indirect costs of lost wages encountered from taking time off work to recover from surgery, (3) sources of financial support, and (4) suggestions for alleviating donor financial burden. Two thirds of participants (20) expressed concerns about direct and indirect donation costs. 11 NDDs reported the negative impact of direct costs,15 NDDs had concerns about indirect costs; only 7 donors received supplemental financial support from state mandates and transplant programs. Discussion: Understanding the financial concerns of NDDs may guide improvements in the NDD donation experience that could support individuals who are interested in donating but lack the financial stability to donate. Removing financial disincentives may help increase nondirected donation rates, increase the living donor pool, and the number of kidneys available for transplantation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)19-26
    Number of pages8
    JournalProgress in Transplantation
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 2021


    • access
    • and evaluation
    • and services
    • anonymous
    • education
    • health care economics and organizations
    • health care facilities
    • health care quality
    • manpower
    • transplant donor

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Transplantation


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