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Public Policy Committee Year End Report, 2023

CMS CAREGIVER PAYMENT CODES

CMS has announced a set of procedure codes allowing caregivers and care partners to receive reimbursement of medical costs on behalf of caregiver activities.


Several patient support groups, including TRIO, Transplant Journey, and TSO, are going to host a webinar in the first quarter of 2024 to explain those new codes. Watch for upcoming announcements about the webinar.


HONOR THE GIFT IMPORTANT ACTIVITIES ON BEHALF OF NON-INVASIVE TESTING

On December 5, 2023, the Honor The Gift Coalition held a major “March on the Legislature” in Washington, DC. Once again, the Coalition was putting the spotlight on the CMS decision to disallow the use of non-invasive testing for monitoring organ rejection. A number of important national and community leaders used a press conference to highlight the issue and to urge the Biden Administration to reverse this decision.


Lorrinda Gray-Davis, President of TRIO, attended the event and issued the following statement:

"TRIO's co-leadership in the 'Honor the Gift' Coalition marks a significant moment, as it is the first time we have seen patients unite with such a determined purpose in Washington DC. This unity is not just symbolic but a powerful force for advocacy and change. I urge everyone to remain actively involved. Our collective voice and continued engagement are essential in shaping policies and perceptions around organ transplantation and donation. It's through our shared efforts that we can truly honor the gift of life and make a lasting impact.” – Lorrinda Gray-Davis (PRESIDENT, TRIO)

In addition, Senator Gillbrand from New York also contributed her support:

“I want to congratulate all of you [advocates] for being here, because this is quite a showing. This is the kind of showing that can make members of Congress pay attention… The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have restricted access to non-invasive post-transplant testing for kidney, heart, and lung transplant patients. It’s not right, it’s not fair, and we have to demand they take their action back and do it the right way so we can get access to the tests we need to protect our lives.”—Kirsten Gillibrand (UNITED STATES SENATOR, NEW YORK)

LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY – WHERE DO BILLS STAND GOING INTO 2024

Here is a year-end summary of Congressional activity affecting organ donor registration and donation:


This bill is in several House committees.


Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/118/hr2544

This bill was signed by the President and is now at UNOS/OPTN for implementation.


Organ Donation Clarification Act of 2023 https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/118/hr4343/text

This bill is awaiting assignment to a House committee.


Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA) (HR1835) https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/senate-bill/1000/all-info

This bill is being reviewed by a House committee.


Saving Organs One Flight at a Time Act https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/118/hr4362

This bill is awaiting assignment to a House committee.


MATADOR DRONE CONTRACT

The FAA has granted a license to a company to begin delivering medical products via drone to underserved rural population areas in central Texas.


Here’s some information about the kinds of medical services that will be provided with this new service:

“… to extend healthcare to rural communities along the approved linear asset corridor by moving lab samples, vaccinations, remote patient monitoring devices, medications, and medical supplies that provide increased healthcare access to medically underserved communities.”

Watch for the services to be extended to include organ delivery from donor hospitals to transplant centers.



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