Health insurance as a requirement to undergo cardiac transplantation: A national survey of transplant program practices

J. T. Thibodeau, M. P. Rao, C. Gupta, C. R. Ayers, S. Gupta, P. P A Mammen, D. W. Markham, J. D. Mishkin, P. C. Patel, L. P. King, M. H. Drazner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Background: Recent limitations in Medicaid coverage of transplantation in Arizona jeopardized transplantation of potential recipients in that state and called attention to financial barriers inherent in the present organ allocation system. Policies of cardiac transplant centers regarding insurance requirements for transplantation have not been previously assessed. We sought to determine the policies of adult cardiac transplant programs nationwide regarding insurance requirements for evaluation and listing for cardiac transplantation. Methods: From December 15, 2008 to November 16, 2010, all active adult cardiac transplant programs in the United States were surveyed regarding insurance requirements for evaluation and listing for cardiac transplantation. Results: Surveys were completed by 62 of 101 programs, accounting for 71% of adult cardiac transplants in 2007. Only 2% of recipients were uninsured. Insurance was required by 48% of programs to evaluate and 84% to list for transplantation. For uninsured patients, 81% of programs required a large amount of money upfront (median, $200,000; interquartile range, $10,000-$300,000) to list for transplantation and often (84%) educated patients about fundraising to acquire these resources. Conclusions: Adult cardiac transplant programs generally require candidates to have adequate health insurance to undergo transplantation. Uninsured patients typically need a significant amount of money upfront to be listed for transplantation and often are advised to fundraise to gather such resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-363
Number of pages4
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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