Who Can Donate A Kidney
Almost any adult in good health can donate a kidney. In many cases, you can donate a kidney to someone of a different race, sex or blood type, thanks to recent advances in donor matching.
At Memorial Transplant Institute, our thorough donor evaluation process makes sure a donor is in sufficient physical and mental shape to safely undergo donor surgery.
Why Do Donors Need Health Insurance If The Recipient’s Insurance Pays For Everything
All donors are required to have health insurance in the event that any medical issues/diagnoses arise during the course of their evaluation to be a donor.
In this instance, the recipient’s insurance does not cover the donor’s medical expenses, so the potential donor must have health insurance in place to ensure that they will be covered in such a circumstance.
Kidney donation may also be considered a pre-existing condition. Although current law largely prohibits the denial of insurance based on pre-existing conditions, some insurance companies are still allowed to deny coverage for this reason. This is another reason why obtaining health insurance prior to donation is important.
How Does A Kidney Paired Donation Also Called A Kidney Swap Work
Sometimes a transplant candidate has someone who wants to donate a kidney to them, but tests reveal that the kidney would not be a good medical match. Kidney paired donation, or KPD, also called kidney exchange, gives that transplant candidate another option. In KPD, living donor kidneys are swapped so each recipient receives a compatible transplant. See kidney paired donation for more information.
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What Is Memorial Transplant Institute
Memorial Transplant Institute was established in 2017 and comprises both heart and kidney transplant programs for children and adults. Memorial Transplant Institute is the only center in Broward County and one of only two programs in South Florida to offer kidney transplants to both children and adults.
The institute also includes a robust living donor kidney program. This program offers potential living donors medical expertise and educational support at every point in the living kidney donation process.
What Is The Cost Of Donating A Kidney
This adds to the growing body of evidence that many living donors experience significant financial loss due to donation. Of note, median total costs exceeded $1000 for nearly 75% of donors, $5500 for 25% of donors, and $10,000 for 13% of donors. We also noted differences in costs borne by various groups of donors.
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What Are The Risks Of Becoming A Kidney Donor
Removing a kidney from your body involves major surgery. There is a risk of complications from surgery, such as pain, infection, pneumonia, and bleeding.
A person can live with only one healthy kidney. But doctors are learning that donating a kidney may increase the chance of certain health problems in the years after the donation. More research is being done to better understand the long-term risks.
Donating an organ can affect you and your family. Many emotional issues are involved. There may be costs such as travel expenses and lost wages. And organ donation may affect your insurance coverage.
If you are thinking about donating a kidney, your medical team will help you understand the pros and cons so you can make the decision that’s right for you.
What Are The Costs Related To Living Donation
Most medical costs associated with living donation are covered by the recipient’s insurance. The government requires all certified transplant centers to charge a recipient’s insurance an “acquisition fee” when he or she receives a transplant.
This fee covers the medical costs related to the donor’s medical evaluation, transplant procedure and postoperative care . Anything that falls outside of this protocol is not covered. These costs could include annual physicals, travel, lodging, lost wages and other nonmedical expenses.
If you’re interested in learning more about kidney donation, find out how to donate a kidney.
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Living Kidney Donors Often Pay Their Own Expenses
5 Min Read
Most living kidney donors pay at least some of the expenses related to donation themselves, which may limit how many people can afford to provide organs to transplant recipients, a U.S. study suggests.
Researchers examined survey data from 796 living kidney donors on how much they spent for out-of-pocket medical costs as well as indirect expenses such as lost income or travel bills associated with donation.
Overall, 78 percent of the donors shouldered some costs themselves, and 21 percent of them reported more than $500 in out-of-pocket medical bills and other expenses, the study found.
While the need for kidney transplants continues to rise, I do think that costs deter donors, said lead study author Jennifer Wiseman, a living donor social worker at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis.
I do not advocate that we begin paying living kidney donors to donate, Wiseman added by email. Rather, I am for financial neutrality I think that living kidney donation should not cost donors anything.
In the study, donors were 44 years old on average and 53 percent of them were blood relatives of their organs recipient. The majority of donors were female, and nearly all of them were white.
At the time of the donation, 83 percent of the donors had jobs and 84 percent had health insurance.
Top 5 Questions About Living Kidney Donation
Each year, more than 5,500 living donors successfully give an organ to someone waiting on the transplant list. If you are thinking about donating an organ to a relative, friend or even to a stranger, its important to understand the process and the risks involved. To help you with this important decision, we made a list of the top 5 questions about living donation.
1. How can I be a living kidney donor to someone I know?
First, the person who needs a kidney has to be evaluated by a transplant center and accepted onto the transplant waiting list. Next, youll need to speak with the transplant coordinator at that center. If you live far away from the transplant center where your loved one is being evaluated, you may be able to have some of the testing done near you. However, you should speak with your loved ones transplant center first so they can start the process.
2. What tests are used to determine if someone can be a kidney donor?
There are a number of tests that will be done to determine if you are able to be a living donor and if youre a good match for the recipient. In general, you should be in overall excellent health with no medical problems, and have two kidneys and normal kidney function. You may need physical examinations, psychological testing and donor/recipient compatibility testing, including blood and tissue typing.
3. Whats involved in the surgery and whats the recovery period?
4. What are the long-term risks of kidney donation?
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Heres What You Can Expect During Your Evaluation Process:
- You will need to provide a copy of your blood type or have blood drawn to confirm blood type
- 24-hour blood pressure monitoring
- Female donors will need to provide a copy of their last Pap test result, breast exam and mammogram report. If your Pap test or mammogram is more than a year old, you should schedule an appointment for new exams
- You may need to complete a Glucose Tolerance Test if requested by the Pre-Transplant Office
- Blood collection for comprehensive tests and screening for communicable disease
- 24-hour urine collection
- Chest X-ray and EKG
Three Things I Was Not Expecting When I Donated My Kidney
People often call living organ donors heroes, but I was not looking to wear a superhero cape. Instead, I wanted to give my friend another chance at life. It is an odd feeling to know that one organ in your body can completely change another person’s life, which is why I was so fortunate to be a perfect match for my friend Matt Fulgieri, who needed a lifesaving kidney donation back in 2007. Donating my kidney was no heroic act. It was just the right thing to do, but through it all, I learned some lessons along the way.
Donating a kidney has a huge emotional effect on a donor’s family.
From day one, my wife, Maryellen, was extremely supportive of my decision. Neither of us could bear to watch this disease take our friend Matt, “the family man,” away from his wife and kids. Being a father myself, I could not even imagine my girls growing up without me cheering them on from the sidelines of their soccer games, taking an embarrassing number of pictures at their high school prom or walking them down the aisle at their wedding. It really put things in perspective for both me and Maryellen when we thought about what life would be like for Matt’s children to grow up without their dad, which is one of the reasons it was such an easy decision for me to get tested.
You cannot learn everything you need to know online you have to talk to others who have been there.
You will have some unexpected bumps in the road after surgery.
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Financial Implications Of Kidney Donation
- Medically reviewed by
Being a living kidney donor can be very rewarding. You may get to help a loved one regain their health, give a friend the chance to get off dialysis or even save a stranger’s life. If you are a person with kidney disease and trying to decide if a transplant is right for you, you might be wondering how it could affect your life. Below, learn about the financial implications of kidney donation.
Who Can Have A Kidney Transplant
Most people who need a kidney transplant are able to have one, regardless of their age, as long as:
- they’re well enough to withstand the effects of surgery
- the transplant has a relatively good chance of success
- the person is willing to comply with the recommended treatments required after the transplant such as taking immunosuppressant medication and attending regular follow-up appointments
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Donating A Kidney Faqs
Whether you are considering donating a kidney to a loved one or to a fortunate stranger, you may have questions about whether you meet the requirements, how the living kidney donation process works and donation risks.
Here, our thoughtful living donor specialists answer common questions about the living kidney donor experience at Memorial Transplant Institute.
Becoming A Living Kidney Donor
To be a living kidney donor, you must be of good physical and mental health. You would typically be between the ages of 18 and 60 years, and you must be free of any diseases that could affect the health of the person receiving the kidney. A specialist medical team will test to make sure you are a matching blood and tissue type. A close match is more likely with genetically related donors.
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A Kidney For $10000 Paying Donors Actually Pays Off New Study Finds
Paying living kidney donors $10,000 to give up their organs would save money over the current system based solely on altruism even if it only boosts donations by a conservative 5 percent.
Thats according to a new analysis by Canadian researchers that rekindles the ongoing debate about whether its practical and ethical to offer financial incentives for human body parts.
We have a problem. We dont have enough organ donors coming forward, said Dr. Braden Manns, an associate professor and clinical professor in nephrology at the University of Calgary. He led the new study published Thursday in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
We need to figure out a way to solve that problem. We shouldnt throw out, out of hand, solutions that could increase donations.
But other kidney experts say that even if its cost-effective to pay people for organs, the moral issues the practice generates might backfire.
Sometimes these things have unintended consequences, said Dr. Stephen Pastan, a board member for the National Kidney Foundation and a transplant surgeon at Emory University in Atlanta. If we paid $10,000, a lot of altruistic donors would say that its just a cash transaction. Donations could go down.
Right now the question is theoretical. In the U.S., Canada and other countries except Iran paying people to donate organs is illegal.
The obvious question, the elephant in the room is, Why dont more people donate? Manns said.
Kidney Donation After Death
You can register your decision to donate your organs after death through the Australian Organ Donor Register. Kidney transplants have a high success rate and by donating after death, you will be giving someone the potential to have a longer and more active life than they would have had on dialysis treatment.A transplant from a deceased donor can be used for medically suitable people who have been stabilised on dialysis.You must be declared dead before your organs and body tissues can be used. The two legal definitions of death in Australia are:
- brain death when a person’s brain permanently stops functioning
- circulatory death when a person’s heart permanently stops functioning in their body.
The type of death and the health of the organs and tissues of the potential donor dictate how the organ and tissue donation process will occur, and which organs and tissues can be donated.
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How Long Do Kidney Transplants Last
There are a number of factors which affect how long a transplanted kidney lasts.
These include whether or not the kidney came from a living donor, how well the kidney is matched in terms of blood group and tissue type, and the age and overall health of the person receiving the donation.
If you have a kidney transplant that fails, you can usually be put on the waiting list for another transplant. You may need dialysis in the meantime.
Living Kidney Donation: Whats It Going To Cost
Risa SimonPreparing for Potential Costs Related to Live-Donation
Studies show that living donors may spend an average of $5,000 related to their donation these include direct and indirect costs. A strong consensus exists to support a financially neutral impact to a live organ donors contribution to humanity.
To that end, the Live Donor Community of Practice of the American Society of Transplantation, along with the support of eleven other organizations, looked at systemic and financial barriers to living donation and developed a toolkit to give potential living donors financial resources to assist in making informed decisions about the donation process in advance of donation.
Areas that may financially impact living donors and care providers might include:
The loss of wages associated with recovery time and testing procedures
Transportation to the transplant center for testing, surgery and follow-up care
Food, lodging, and incidentals for donation-related visits
Paying for alternate caregiving plans child care, elder care, pet care
Forfeiting vacation time, holidays, sick days or FMLA for time off work
Denials when purchasing disability or life insuranceor paying higher premiums.
Job security concerns for employers who may not work absences associated with donation
Uncovered medical expenses, which may vary by transplant center and by insurance contract. *.
Financial Assistance Programs:
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Paul Went Back To Work Two Weeks After Surgery Because It Was Costing Him To Be Off Work He Took
You said you took two weeks off work,Yes.In total.I think that was, Im effectively self-employed, so it was costing me, in effect, to be away. So I took it as holiday effectively, the time out. So there was pressure on me to go back, but I think that was alright. I suppose if Id had, you know, I suppose if I was, I know its quite interesting in America I know where people dont have the same kind of benefits, sickness benefits, and people are expected to go back to work much more quickly. I know that the time people take off for operations in general and specifically looking at the amount of time people took after kidney donation, is less there than it is in the UK. Im not saying that one way is right or wrong. I mean all I can say is that, for me, I think two weeks probably was enough. And the week I went back I did actually deliberately plan it to be a little bit gentler than, you know, so I didnt have any other commitments that I didnt have to have. So it did make it a little bit quieter for me.
Paying For The Costs Of Living Donation
Who pays the costs of testing, surgery, hospitalization and doctors’ services for living donation? Generally, the recipient’s Medicare or private insurance. Services and costs donors may be responsible for can include:
Preventive health exams you need for the evaluation process that are part of routine health care
Further testing and treatment for health issues uncovered during your evaluation process
Annual well-visits with your own doctor
The Affordable Care Act currently prevents health insurance companies from charging different rates or refusing to cover you because of a pre-existing condition such as kidney donation. Be sure and talk with the transplant team about any changes in the law that may have been made.
Kidney donation shouldn’t affect your ability to get or keep life insurance. However, there have been rare cases when kidney donation did have an impact. Transplant teams can provide insurance carriers the current data that show that kidney donation does not affect long-term life expectancy.
Many transplant centers participate in the live donor insurance program offered through the American Foundation for Donation and Transplantation. The National Kidney Registry also offers insurance to donors in the paired exchange program.
Other costs not covered
There are costs you may have that aren’t covered by Medicare or the recipient’s insurance, including.
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