National Kidney Registry Re-engineers Billing Systems to Facilitate KPD Cost Reimbursements for Transplant Hospitals

The National Kidney Registry announced the completion of a two-year reengineering project to allow hospitals to tie nearly all paired exchange costs back to patients transplanted.

With the rapid expansion of services that increase the efficiency and reduce the risk of paired exchange transplantation, such as computerized matching, organ packaging, organ shipping, logistics support and other critical activities; successful contracting strategies can add approximately $10,000 to transplant hospital reimbursements paid by insurance companies. Most of the major national health insurance companies are now reimbursing these costs in support of paired exchange transplantation.

Andrea Tietjen, a member of the National Kidney Registry Finance Committee and Financial Director for Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey, shared her hospital’s successful paired exchange reimbursement strategy on a recent national conference call. Encouraging other transplant hospitals, she said, “We have been working with three of our largest private insurance companies and they are all supporting this innovative approach to transplantation by reimbursing paired exchange costs. They are just as motivated as we are to reduce the financial obstacles that sometimes get in the way of paired exchange transplantation.”

Reflecting on this opportunity, Debbie Mast, Chair of the NKR Finance Committee, said, “We are developing a work group to ensure all NKR Member Centers can learn how to engage hospital contracting resources to facilitate the reimbursement of all paired exchange costs with the ultimate goal of eliminating any financial barriers that may prevent a transplant program from participating in paired exchange.”

Garet Hil, Founder and CEO of the NKR, said, “In order to facilitate paired exchange transplants safely and efficiently, additional innovative technologies and services must be employed, such as GPS tracking of shipped kidneys, serology testing and cryopreservation of donor blood to provide for rapid cross-matching. Leading private insurance companies are supporting these innovations and helping us facilitate more paired exchange transplants by reimbursing these costs are now presented on our invoices in a way that expedites reimbursement.”

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