The effects of donor and recipient practices on transplant center finances

Am J Transplant. 2008 Mar;8(3):586-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2007.02098.x.


Over the past several years we have noted a marked decrease in this profitability of our kidney transplant program. Our hypothesis is that this reduction in kidney transplant institutional profitability is related to aggressive donor and recipient practices. The study population included all adults with Medicare insurance who received a kidney transplant at our center between 1999 and 2005. Adopting the hospital perspective, multi-variate linear regression models to determine the independent effects of donor and recipient characteristics and era effects on total reimbursements and total hospital margin. We note statistically significant decreased medical center incremental margins in cases with ECDs (-$5887) and in cases of DGF (-4937). We also note an annual change in the medical center margin is independently associated with year and changes at a rate of -$5278 per year, related to both increasing costs and decreasing Medicare reimbursements. The financial loss associated with patient DGF and the use of ECD kidneys may resonate with other centers, and could hinder efforts to expand kidney transplantation within the United States. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should consider risk-adjusted reimbursement for kidney transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / economics*
  • Adult
  • Economics, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement
  • Kidney Transplantation / economics*
  • Male
  • Medicare / economics*
  • Michigan
  • Tissue Donors
  • United States