ORGAN ALLOCATION: New Rules Delayed For At Least One Year
Proposed federal regulations "that would send scarce organs to the sickest transplant patients first will be delayed for at least another year under" the FY 1999 budget agreement reached yesterday between Congress and the White House. Under the agreement, the Institute of Medicine is tasked with reviewing "the complex issues surrounding organ allocation" and preparing a report to be issued next May. While the delay amounted to "a defeat for the Clinton administration," the AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch notes that federal officials secured at least one "small victory" -- the United Network for Organ Sharing will be required to "release timely and accurate information about the performance of transplant programs," a requirement the network had "resisted" (10/16). According to the Washington Post, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston (R-LA) was responsible for "persuading" the budget negotiators to delay the organ allocation rules. Livingston got involved because the rules run counter to "Louisiana legislation that restricts organs to their home states" (Hager/Barr, 10/16). An HHS official said the agency "is resolved to see the regulation eventually become law." Spokesperson Campbell Gardett said, "If the way to a regulation is through an Institute of Medicine study, we'll work with the IOM" (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 10/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.