National Kidney Registry to Reimburse Lost Wages for Donors

Today the National Kidney Registry announced that all donors involved in NKR swaps will be provided Donor Shield protections including lost wage reimbursement. This fulfills the promise from President Trump’s recent announcement to support “the selfless individuals who donate kidneys by granting them reimbursement for extra expenses associated with organ donation such as lost wages.”

The Donor Shield protections will now cover over 1,000 living kidney donors annually (approximately one sixth of all living donors in the United States) and includes lost wage reimbursement, travel and lodging reimbursement, donation life insurance, donation disability insurance, legal support and coverage for uncovered complications. Additionally, all donors involved in NKR swaps will be prioritized for a living donor transplant in the unlikely event that they should ever need a transplant.

“As a kidney donor myself, I experienced firsthand many of the challenges and disincentives related to donating a kidney,” said Garet Hil, Founder and CEO of the National Kidney Registry. “These disincentives need to be eliminated to allow more people to donate and more lives to be saved.”

“As one of the first centers to implement Donor Shield, we are thrilled that this program can be provided to all NKR donors because it is the right thing to do,” said Dr. Nicole Turgeon, Surgical Director of the Living Donor Kidney Transplant Program at Emory. “We often see situations where potential donors are not able to go through with donation due to the cost of lost wages during the two to four week surgical recovery. Donor Shield turns that around by providing lost wage reimbursement.”

Dr. Matthew Cooper, Director of the Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute and the NKR Surgical Director, commented, “We have been utilizing Donor Shield at our transplant center for nearly a year and it has been greatly appreciated by our donors. The expansion of the Donor Shield program to all donors involved in NKR swaps will eliminate disincentives to kidney donation and help get many more patients off dialysis.”

“Reimbursing donors for lost wages is the right thing to do for the wonderful people who are donating a part of their body to save/improve the lives of people suffering from kidney failure,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, Associate Director of Kidney Transplant University of Wisconsin, Madison. “We recently implemented Donor Shield at our transplant center and it has been very well received. Providing Donor Shield coverage to all donors involved in NKR swaps is an exciting development and furthers the momentum generated by President Trump’s executive order to support transplantation.”

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