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Meeting the demand for change in the organ procurement industry

January 14, 2022 Article 3 min read
Sharon Ulep Megan Gargaro
Updated Organ Procurement Organization Conditions for Coverage are on the way. Is your organization ready? Here are three questions to ask.

Doctors in an operating room.The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated the Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) Conditions for Coverage (CfCs), raising performance standards and creating competition between OPOs. The goal of these series of measures is to increase organ donation and transplant rates, improve recipient outcomes, and reduce organ wastage. In combination, the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) has announced a goal of 50,000 organ transplants annually by 2026.

The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) has announced a goal of 50,000 organ transplants annually by 2026.

From the policy-making perspective, there is also a desire to hold OPOs accountable for “the subsequent steps for successful placement and transport of organs (rather than just the procurement).” The Final Ruling has increased performance expectations, thereby providing an opportunity for OPOs across the country to assess their performance, adopt best practices, and ensure productive staffing. To read more about the new policy changes, read the first of three final rulings by the CMS here.

What do you need to meet the demand?

With these measures to take effect Aug. 1, 2022, the pressure to streamline processes and scale up staffing begins now. As an OPO facing the challenges ahead, it’s time to start thinking about the following:

  • Do you have enough staff, the right complement of staff, and the right alignment of staff to meet this goal?
  • Is your electronic medical record system able to support increased volumes? Is your technology integrated to reduce redundancy?
  • Are your processes efficient? Can your organization support a 10% increase using the same processes you are using today?

Three things to consider:

1. How do we determine the number of staff needed?

Start by considering whether you have enough staff, the right complement of staff, and the right alignment of staff to meet the goals set out in the CfCs. This may require an analysis of your organization’s staffing data alongside transplant goals. For example, Plante Moran has designed a waterfall staffing algorithm that uses individualized and organizational data to predict the number of staff needed in each position to achieve an annual goal number of transplanted organs. The algorithm allows for a growth-oriented staffing model to maintain or scale up for what’s needed to achieve a tier-1 rating with CMS. Getting the right number of staff in each position reduces staff overtime and improves individual and organizational performance.

2. Do we have the right people in the right position?

Individuals working in roles that play to their personal and professional strengths are more likely to grow and succeed in both their positions and long-term careers. A specialized team of talent and organizational development experts will help ensure your organization is hiring individuals with the experience and characteristics that complement and align with the needs of each role. Hiring the right people for the right positions may improve job satisfaction, retention, and career progression across your organization, resulting in lower staff turnover.

3. Are we using best practices for efficiency?

CMS and AOPO encourage the use of best practices and exchange of information between OPOs to improve procurement and transplantation processes. Smooth referrals, timely on-site responses, and accurate documentation are crucial processes that increase the potential for more transplanted organs. The CMS final ruling presents an opportunity to improve processes that support the metrics and volumes required to achieve a tier-1 status in a limited time frame.

The relationship between OPOs and hospitals is complex, and changes to long-standing norms and practices can be challenging. We recommend adopting a LEAN-based methodology, combined with an intentional focus on culture and change management, to create tailored and sustainable process change for your organization. We have designed the implementation of our solution to promote collaboration, improve operational efficiency, and foster growth. With these measures taking effect on Aug.1, 2022, the time to act is now.

If you have questions, please contact us.

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