Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Kidney offer acceptance at programs undergoing a Systems Improvement Agreement

TitleKidney offer acceptance at programs undergoing a Systems Improvement Agreement
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBowring, MG, Massie, AB, Craig-Schapiro, R, Segev, DL, Nicholas, LH
JournalAm J Transplant
Date PublishedSep
ISBN Number1600-6135
Accession Number29718565
Keywordsclinical decision-making, clinical research/practice, ethics and public policy, kidney transplantation/nephrology, organ acceptance, organ procurement and allocation, Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients (SRTR)

In the United States, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) use Systems Improvement Agreements (SIAs) to require transplant programs repeatedly flagged for poor-performance to improve performance or lose CMS funding for transplants. We identified 14 kidney transplant (KT) programs with SIAs and 28 KT programs without SIAs matched on waitlist volume and characterized kidney acceptance using SRTR data from 12/2006-3/2015. We used difference-in-differences linear regression models to identify changes in acceptance associated with an SIA independent of program variation and trends prior to the SIA. SIA programs accepted 26.9% and 22.1% of offers pre- and post-SIA, while non-SIA programs accepted 33.9% and 44.4% of offers in matched time periods. After adjustment for donor characteristics, time-varying waitlist volume, and secular trends, SIAs were associated with a 5.9 percentage-point (22%) decrease in kidney acceptance (95% CI: -10.9 to -0.8, P = .03). The decrease in acceptance post-SIA was more pronounced for KDPI 0-40 kidneys (12.3 percentage-point decrease, P = .007); reductions in acceptance of higher KDPI kidneys occurred pre-SIA. Programs undergoing SIAs substantially reduced acceptance of kidney offers for waitlisted candidates. Attempts to improve posttransplant outcomes might have the unintended consequence of reducing access to transplantation as programs adopt more restrictive organ selection practices.