Lower than anticipated kidney registrations have resulted in the first OPTN/UNOS registration fee increase since 2013. Beginning October 1, total registration fees will increase 2.3%, from $957 to $979.
The OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors met June 6-7, 2016 in Richmond, VA and approved OPTN and UNOS budgets for Fiscal Year 2017. UNOS’ budget for the upcoming fiscal year is approximately $55.7 million, of which approximately $48.7 million will cover OPTN operations. The OPTN registration fee for FY 2017 will be $834, while the UNOS registration fee remains unchanged at $145. Transplant candidate registration fees comprise 84.7% of UNOS’ budget.
“We did not want to lose the momentum we’ve achieved toward eliminating the IT backlog. Three years without a fee increase was as long as we could go,” said UNOS CEO Brian Shepard. “We asked departments company-wide to scrutinize their budget proposals in order to find cost savings, and we were able to hold the increase to only $22, despite slowing registration numbers.”
Ongoing projects in the next fiscal year include updating programming infrastructure, periodic transformational change to all system components (such as UNetSM, DonorNet® and Tiedi®), and implementation of previously approved policies and bylaws. UNOS is continuing work on Transnet for Transplant Centers, and creation of a Data Lake, API and a new Member Quality system. Additional funding will also be needed to support new tasks and responsibilities identified by OPTN contract modifications. A modification was added in Fiscal Year 2016 for the Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network (COIIN Project). COIIN is currently studying an alternate approach to transplant program performance monitoring. This is anticipated to be a three year project and will continue through fiscal year 2018.
OPTN/UNOS representatives will receive a formal notice of the fee increase.