CMS ESTABLISHES NEW QUALITY MEASURES FOR ORGAN PROCUREMENT ORGANIZATIONS
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today a final rule setting forth new quality measures and data reporting requirements that organ procurement organizations (OPOs) must meet to have their services covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
“These new requirements ensure that OPOs will continue to embrace the best practices of the Secretary’s Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative,” said Health And Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt. “We expect the new OPO rule to result in an increase in organ donation in its first year.”
“This rule establishes a competitive framework for OPO certification based on rigorous performance-based quality measures for OPOs,” said CMS Administrator Mark B. McClellan, MD, PhD. “This rule will support and enhance the Department’s unprecedented success in saving lives by increasing organ donation and transplantation,” Dr. McClellan said.
The final rule contains three new outcome measures similar to measures recommended by many commenters, requirements for reporting of OPO performance data, and new and more objective criteria for selecting the winner of a competition for an open donation service area. There is also a new appeals process for OPOs that includes an OPO’s right to request reconsideration from CMS. CMS received many comments on a proposed rule that was published on Feb. 4, 2005, resulting in substantial changes in this final rule.
This final rule will re-certify all 58 OPOs through July 31, 2010 and allow their agreements with the Secretary to extend until January 31, 2011. Thus, this final rule will ensure that OPOs are able to continue their organ procurement services without interruption.
The final OPO rule went on display today at the Office of the Federal Register for publication on May 31, 2006.