New National Organ Transplant Rules to Take Effect Soon
Government officials stressed that they have extensively consulted with the transplant community in developing their new rules. "I can't tell you how exhaustive the number of meetings has been with the transplant community," Shalala told reporters.
The new rules would go into effect 30 days from their date of official publishing, which will occur in about a week.
But in its end-of-session free-for-all, Congress may move again to block the regulations from taking effect. Just last week, the House Commerce Committee approved legislation that would grant UNOS more independence.
According to UNOS President William Payne, MD, the bill reinforces the intent of the nation's organ transplant system. "Responsibility for developing, establishing, and maintaining medical criteria and standards ? rests in the private sector and the medical community," he said in congressional testimony last month.
The Clinton Administration strongly opposes the legislation, which it claims would weaken the system's accountability and likely be unconstitutional.
But UNOS believes that the legislation should move forward quickly, spokesman Al Hinman tells WebMD. He says that the group applauds the government for listening to the concerns and recommendations of transplant centers and doctors.