Press Releases

Kuster Legislation To Overhaul Organ Donation System Heading to President’s Desk

**Kuster was an early advocate for this legislation and helped ensure it passed through the Energy and Commerce Committee** 


Washington, D.C. – Legislation that Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) cosponsored to overhaul our nation’s organ donation system is heading to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act would, for the first time, create a competitive bidding process on multiple contracts to manage the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), which matches donor organs with patients waiting for transplants.


For nearly 40 years, the government has contracted with a single organization, United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), to match patients with donated organs. But, a recent investigation found that UNOS failed to ensure organs were not lost or destroyed in transit. 


“Organ donation is an incredible medical feat that has enabled doctors to save thousands of lives all across our country – we owe it to patients and their families to ensure it is effectively managed to give them the best possible outcome,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Unfortunately, under the current contract with UNOS, that has not always been the case. I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation to finally upgrade our organ donation system to help save lives and improve our nation's health care.”


Specifically, the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act would:

  • Modify how the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funds and manages the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
    • This network is a public-private partnership that links the professionals involved in the U.S. donation and transplantation system. Historically, only one organization has received a contract for managing the network.
  • Authorize HRSA to award multiple grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements to support the operation of the network and eliminates a cap on the amount of funding available for supporting the network. 
    • The bill also specifies that the network shall be operated through awards that are distinct from awards for supporting the operation of the network's board of directors.
  • Require the Government Accountability Office to review the historical financing of the network, including the use of registration fees.