In the U.S., living organ donation represents a key source of transplantable organs; however, the supply of living and deceased donor organs is inadequate to meet demand. Living organ donors cannot usually obtain reimbursement of wages forfeited during the evaluation for and recovery from donation surgery, creating a financial disincentive to donation for many. The HRSA Lost Wages Support for Living Organ Donors Demonstration Project brings together a multidisciplinary team of researchers at Arbor Research, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, The University of Arizona, the Mayo Clinic of Arizona, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to: 1) assess the effect of lost wage reimbursement on the decision of individuals to initiate evaluation for living organ donation and 2) inform the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on the most effective and efficient mechanism to provide this support.
A subset of U.S. transplant centers will be able to offer timely lost wage reimbursement to donors through the program. Evaluation of the project will apply a mixed methods approach. The team will develop a survey to study motivations and barriers to living donation, and semi-structured interviews on a subset of participants will provide qualitative data on how lost wage reimbursement interacts with other barriers and motivations in different donor profiles. Quantitative analysis will also be used to evaluate the program. Satisfaction with the program and its processes will be assessed by feedback questionnaires from program participants and filers and participating transplant centers. Program performance evaluation will be conducted through quarterly and annual reports to HRSA on program metrics.