The Donor Lost Wages Study

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation funded a multidisciplinary team of clinical researchers at Arbor Research, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, The University of Kansas, the Mayo Clinic of Arizona, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. This collaborative group conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of lost wage reimbursement to potential kidney donors on living donation rates. This “first-of-its-kind” pilot study of the reimbursement of lost wages investigated whether kidney transplant candidates whose donors are offered reimbursement of lost wages (treatment arm) have a higher probability of receiving a living donor kidney transplant than those randomized to no offer of lost wage reimbursement (control arm). The study sought to demonstrate incremental living donor kidney transplants by assisting individuals who wish to be living organ donors but would be otherwise unable to do so due to the obligatory forfeit of income during the evaluation, donation surgery, and post-operative recuperation periods.