Going the distance for procurement of donation after circulatory death livers for transplantation-Does reimbursement reflect reality?
Donation after circulatory death (DCD) liver transplantation (LT) has increased slowly over the past decade. Given that transplant surgeons generally determine liver offer acceptance, understanding surgeon incentives and disincentives is paramount. The purpose of this study was to assess aggregate travel distance per successful DCD versus deceased after brain death (DBD) liver procurement as a surrogate for surgeon time expenditure and opportunity cost. All consecutive liver offers made to Michigan Medicine from 2006 to 2017 were analyzed. Primary outcome was the summative travel distance (spent on all attempted procurements) per successful liver procurement that resulted in LT. Donation after circulatory death liver offer acceptance was lower than DBD liver offers, as was proportion of successful procurements among accepted offers. Overall, 10 275 miles were travelled for accepted DCD liver offers, resulting in 23 successful procurements (mean 447 miles per successful DCD liver procurement). For accepted DBD liver offers, 197 299 miles were travelled, resulting in 863 successful procurements (mean 229 miles per successful DBD liver procurement). On average, each successful DCD liver procurement required 218 more miles of travel than each successful DBD liver procurement. Current reimbursement policies poorly reflect increased surgeon travel (and time) expenditures between DCD and DBD liver offers.
Montgomery, JR; Highet, A; Hobeika, MJ; Englesbe, MJ; McElroy, LM
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