COVID-19 “amnesty” status will end for all follow-up forms due on or after April 1; Retrospective forms due July 1

COVID-19 “amnesty” status will end for all follow-up forms due on or after April 1; Retrospective forms due July 1

The OPTN Executive Committee, meeting by teleconference March 1, resolved to resume regular OPTN policy requirements effective April 1, 2021, for collecting and submitting living donor follow-up (LDF), organ specific transplant recipient follow-up (TRF), and recipient malignancy (PTM) forms.

Effective April 1, 2021, all required forms will resume their expected submission dates as indicated in policy and will no longer be placed in “amnesty” status. Transplant hospitals will have until July 1, 2021, to complete forms that had been placed in amnesty status between March 13, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

The OPTN had temporarily suspended these requirements as part of a number of emergency actions taken to assist member institutions in the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. The OPTN Board of Directors and Executive Committee have continued to review the actions on a periodic basis.

In its March 1 call, the Executive Committee reviewed data indicating that transplant hospitals have completed and submitted more than 85 percent of forms expected during this time. The committee commended the effort of transplant hospitals to maintain this level of submission despite the challenges caused by the pandemic. Recent trend data on newly reported COVID-19 cases also suggests that the collective burden on most hospitals nationwide is decreasing.

UNOS will continue to send transplant administrators weekly updates regarding their program’s status in completion of expected follow-up forms.

Retrospective Data Collection

The data collected on follow-up forms is vital for the OPTN and the SRTR to continue to evaluate patient outcomes, policy effectiveness and patient safety, and to help members assess quality and identify opportunities for improvement. For these reasons, the Executive Committee resolved to require retrospective form completion, with additional time given to allow hospitals to review and supply available data.

Transplant programs are expected to complete follow-up forms with as much data as available. Keep in mind that for a number of fields where the patient was not seen or where data cannot be recreated as of the form due date, options exist to report that the data are unavailable.

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