On June 22 1998, HCFA published a final rule (which became effective August 21) that imposes several requirements a hospital must meet that are designed to increase organ donation. One of these requirements is that a hospital must have an agreement with the Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) designated by the Secretary, under which the hospital will contact the OPO in a timely manner about individuals who die or whose death is imminent in the hospital. The OPO will then determine the individual's medical suitability for donation. As well, the hospital must have an agreement with at least one tissue bank and at least one eye bank to cooperate in the retrieval, processing, preservation, storage, and distribution of tissues and eyes, as long as the agreement does not interfere with organ donation. The final rule requires a hospital to ensure, in collaboration with the OPO with which it has an agreement, that the family of every potential donor is informed of its option to donate organs or tissues or not to donate. Under the final rule, hospitals must work with the OPO and at least one tissue bank and one eye bank in educating staff on donation issues, reviewing death records to improve identification of potential donors, and maintaining potential donors while necessary testing and placement of organs and tissues take place. In addition, transplant hospitals must provide organ-transplant-related data, as requested by the OPTN, the Scientific Registry, and the OPOs. The hospital must also provide, if requested, such data directly to the Department. The regulation is the centerpiece of the National Organ and Tissue Donation Initiative, which has as its goal a 20 percent increase in organ donation in the first two years of the regulation.
For more information, click on the links below: