OPTN Policy 1.4.F (Updates to Candidate Data During COVID-19 Emergency) will expire Monday, April 11. This policy authorizes transplant programs, as needed, to “carry forward” the most recent clinical data available when obtaining updated data is not feasible due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The policy had originally been in effect from March 17, 2020, to July 27, 2021. In January 2022, several transplant hospitals requested reinstatement of the policy due to resource challenges posed by a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases. The OPTN Executive Committee approved this action on January 11, 2022, as an emergency policy per the OPTN bylaws for a 90-day effective period, pending a review to determine if it should be extended. After reviewing current information on the COVID-19 situation, the Executive Committee has resolved not to extend the policy beyond the 90-day term.
In all instances, continue to exercise your medical judgment in providing care for your transplant candidates.
On or before April 11 – If issues relating to COVID-19 alter your usual decisions or actions, please document this in the candidate’s medical record. For maintaining data to support a transplant candidate’s listing status or waiting time, please use the most updated clinical data you have available and make all reasonable efforts to meet OPTN requirements. If your program is unable to collect updated data due to issues related to COVID-19, or if in your medical judgment you opt not to collect updated data because of COVID-19 considerations, you may report the most recent clinical data values you previously submitted. In this instance, please report the date you are submitting the data as the actual date of the test and document these actions in the candidate’s medical record. The documentation must include the circumstances that support using the policy.
April 12 and afterward – Policy 1.4.F will no longer be in effect. Please report candidate data according to the standard requirements outlined in OPTN policy for the affected organ type(s).