Wages, travel, and lodging reimbursement by the National Kidney Registry: An important step toward financial neutrality for living kidney donors in the United States

Neetika Garg, Amy D. Waterman, Omesh Ranasinghe, Leza Warnke, Jonathan Morris, Matthew Cooper, Didier A. Mandelbrot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Since 2007, the National Living Donor Assistance Center has provided the most financial support to US living donors meeting specific income criteria by reimbursing travel, meal, and lodging expenses. In 2019, the National Kidney Registry started providing lost wages, travel, and lodging reimbursement via their Donor Shield program. Donor Shield is automatically provided to donors who participate in kidney paired donation through the National Kidney Registry or who donate at a Donor Shield Direct center, without any income restrictions. Methods. The support donors across the United States received from the Donor Shield program between January 2019 and February 2020 was studied. Results. During the study period, 326 (25.9%) of the 1260 donors covered by Donor Shield, from 46 programs received reimbursements amounting to a total of $647 384.45, with $472 389.97 (73.0%) covering lost wages. Median reimbursement per donor was $1813.80 (range, $44.0–$165.63). Eighty-one percent of 108 reimbursed donors who were surveyed reported that the lack of these reimbursements would have posed a financial hardship, and 4% said they would have been unable to donate without this support. Conclusions. Expansion of lost wages reimbursement programs to all donors in the United States would be an important step toward achieving financial neutrality for this unique population and could also help meet the growing demand for transplantable organs by increasing living donation rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2606-2611
Number of pages6
JournalTransplantation
Volume105
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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