U.S. Senators, Including Jerry Moran, Seek Clarity on OPTN Act Implementation, Stressing Congressional Intent and HHS Oversight

By Trish Svoboda

Several U.S. Senators, including Sen. Jerry Moran, have urged the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Board of Directors to correct several misconceptions that have arisen in recent weeks during the implementation of the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act.

The senators wanted to clarify the law’s intent and the requirements of the new statutory language. They emphasized that merging the Board of Directors with the OPTN does not align with the congressional intent. They also stressed that the statute does not suggest that the OPTN Board should be independent of the government. On the contrary, the statute explicitly states that all OPTN functions fall directly under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as they are executed under the authority of awards made and supervised by HHS.

In early May, several senators wrote a letter to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to offer recommendations on the law’s implementation. Senator Moran introduced the Securing the U.S. OPTN Act in May 2023 to eliminate obstacles in OPTN contracting and enhance the management of the organ transplantation system in the U.S. The legislation was unanimously passed in July 2023.

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