The field of organ donation and transplantation is one of the most regulated areas of health care today. Both state and federal legislation has been put in place to provide the safest and most equitable system for allocation, distribution, and transplantation of donated organs.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the federal agency with responsibility for oversight of the transplant system in the United States. The following federal agencies—all part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—also play a part in this lifesaving process:
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Policies and Reports
To address the nation's critical organ donation shortage and improve the organ matching and placement process, the U.S. Congress passed the National Organ Transplant Act in 1984. The act established the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) to maintain a national registry for organ matching.
The Act also called for the network to be operated by a private, nonprofit organization under federal contract. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), based in Richmond, VA, administers the OPTN under contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).