What is an OPO?

What is an OPO?

Not-for-profit Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs), like LifeNet Health, are federally designated by The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to serve specific areas of the country, known as Donation Service Areas or DSAs, and were established to:

  • Educate the public about benefits of organ donation and transplantation
  • Recover, preserve and distribute donated organs
  • Increase the availability of organs for transplantation
  • Support, promote and assist tissue donation

Medicare Conditions of Participation

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has included in its Conditions of Participation a requirement that all hospitals must refer all deaths and imminent deaths to the local OPO in a timely manner.

Hospitals are reviewed for compliance by CMS and deemed accreditation organizations. To help ensure the hospital performs well in this review, LifeNet Health staff perform reviews of the hospital's medical records to ensure compliance with donation requirements. LifeNet Health then shares with the hospital any opportunities for improvement, to ensure all opportunities for donation are maximized.

Hospital and OPO Collaboration

Hospitals and OPOs work together to:

  • Educate hospital staff on the donation process
  • Ensure potential donors receive appropriate and aggressive treatment to allow the opportunity for organ and tissue donation
  • Present families of deceased patients with organ and tissue donation options
  • Manage the potential donor while testing and placement are performed
  • Review medical records to ensure compliance

Why is Collaboration So Important?

Working together is the only way we can prevent the harmful and untimely request for consent, help the family have the opportunity for organ and tissue donation, and maintain the viability of organs upon the death of the donor.

Who is LifeNet Health?

LifeNet Health is designated as an Organ Procurement Organization by CMS to facilitate the donation and transplantation process within the state of Virginia as well as parts of West Virginia. LifeNet Health collaborates with approximately 75 area hospitals and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiners to provide donation-related services, including:

  • Supporting potential donor families in their time of loss
  • Coordinating the recovery of all medically suitable organs and tissues for transplant
  • Ensure organs are effectively allocated utilizing the OPTN approved organ allocation sequence

Additionally, LifeNet Health provides after care support to donor families and educates the diverse communities of Virginia about organ and tissue donation and transplantation.