How Conflicts of Interest Negatively Impacts a Patients Chance to have a Kidney Transplant
CMS requires dialysis companies to ask: “Has the patient been informed of kidney transplant options?” A Yes/No box needs to be checked. A dialysis company’s mission is to dialyze patients, not to educate them about kidney transplants. It’s a conflict of interest for the dialysis company. Once a patient receives a kidney transplant, they don’t need the services of the dialysis company. What company will educate their customer to an option that will result in losing their customer?
CMS requires transplant hospitals to tell their patients they can register at more than one transplant hospital. The primary reason to register at another transplant hospital is to be on a shorter waiting list. Providing this information to their patients is a conflict of interest for the hospital. A hospital might tell their patients they could register somewhere else, without letting them know the benefit of doing so. There are regions in the U.S. where the wait for a deceased donor kidney is 5--10 years, while in another area, which might only be a 1.5 hour drive, the wait time is only 12 months.