Entries by ATF Staff

H.R. 5534 Passed: Lifetime Medicare Coverage of Immunosuppressant for Kidney Recipients

Kidney transplant recipients may no longer have to choose between paying for their immunosuppressant medications or paying their bills thanks to new legislation passed by US Congress.

The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2020 (H.R. 5534), passed in December 2020, will take effect on January 1st, 2023.  This bill indefinitely extends Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients for individuals who do not have other coverage. Under current law, Medicare coverage is limited to 36 months following a transplant. Individuals under 65 years of age will have to pay a premium during their first year of coverage.

“Right now, too many patients and their families worry about whether they can afford the treatment they need to keep their transplanted kidney, today we took an important step towards alleviating that burden.”

Representative Ron Kind

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services indicates that this legislation will lead to vast Medicare savings.

For more information on H.R. 5534, visit the Congress Website

COVID-19 Vaccine & The Transplant Community Webinar

On January 26th, the COVID-19 Transplant Community Coalition hosted the COVID-19 Vaccine & The Transplant Community Webcast. The webinar tackled the donation and transplantation community's most pressing questions from safety and efficacy in transplant recipients to distribution and misinformation.

Our panel of leading experts included representation from the CDC along with a practicing transplant surgeon and patient advocate:

  • Leilani Graham, heart transplant recipient, patient advocate, healthcare consultant
  • Brian Lima, MD, FACS, Director of Heart Transplantation Surgery, North Shore University Hospital
  • Janell Routh, MD, MHS, Co-Deputy, Implementation Unit, CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force
  • Steve Adubato, PhD (Moderator), Emmy Award-winning Anchor, Author, "Lessons in Leadership"

We would like to thank all who participated!

Organ Donation Clarification Act of 2020

Last year, the Organ Donation Clarification Act was proposed. This act aims to solve the kidney wait list crisis by removing barriers which donors face under current laws and by creating new paths for increasing donation. This year, on July 27th, Congressman Matt Cartwright will reintroduce this act to Congress in hopes of helping those in need of transplants across the country.

The Organ Donor Clarification Act would:

  1. Clarify that certain reimbursements are not valuable consideration but are reimbursements for expenses a donor incurs
  2. Allow government-run pilot programs to test the effect of providing non-cash benefits to promote organ donation

To learn more about the act, click the box below for an official summary.

We encourage our lovely foundation members to share this act with your local Congress members, family, and friends. By increasing support for the Organ Donor Clarification Act, the chances of helping patients in need of transplants across the country will greatly improve.