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Moderate Costs Incurred by Living Kidney Donors

Longer distance traveled to transplant center significantly linked to higher total costs

MONDAY, May 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Living kidney donors (LKDs) incur moderate costs related to the completion of donation evaluation, according to a study published online May 5 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

James R. Rodrigue, Ph.D., from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues collected data on expenses related to completion of the donation evaluation for 194 LKDs participating in a multicenter prospective study.

The researchers found that 96 percent of donors reported one or more direct costs, totaling $101,484 (mean $523), including ground transportation (80 percent), health care (24 percent), lodging (17 percent), and air transportation (14 percent). To avoid incurring lost wages, one-third of LKDs used paid vacation or sick leave. Receipt of financial support from the transplant candidate or their family (6 and 3 percent, respectively), a nonprofit organization (3 percent), the National Living Donor Assistance Center (7 percent), or transplant center (3 percent) were reported by few LKDs. Longer distance traveled to the transplant center correlated with higher total costs (P < 0.001). There was no association for total costs with age, sex, race/ethnicity, household income, marital status, insurance status, or transplant center.

“Moderate predonation direct and indirect costs are common for adults who complete the donation evaluation,” the authors write. “Potential LKDs should be advised of these possible costs, and the transplant community should examine additional strategies to reimburse donors for them.”

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