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US investigating organ collection groups for potential fraud

Federal authorities are working to determine if certain nonprofit organizations have been overbilling the government.
US investigating organ collection groups for potential fraud
Posted at 4:18 PM, Feb 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-27 17:18:56-05

Organ collection groups in at least five states are being investigated for fraud by federal attorneys across the U.S., The Washington Post reported Monday.

Federal authorities are specifically working to determine if certain nonprofit organizations that coordinate organ donations have been overbilling the government for their costs, including the Department of Veteran Affairs and Medicare. 

Both agencies reimburse organ procurement organizations (OPOs) for acquiring organs.

The Post, citing multiple unidentified sources, said the investigation has been underway for at least several months, but the probe is intensifying as investigators from the VA inspector general were “dispatched” to the offices and homes of multiple chief executives of organ procurement organizations.

The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations told the Post it was “aware the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General has made inquiries of some OPOs,” but none of the organizations returned the newspaper’s emails and phone calls. 

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network was established in 1984 to maintain an organ-matching national registry as part of a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) — but the system has been subject to intense scrutiny by legislators in recent years, who found “consistent mismanagement and underperformance” in previous investigations by the Senate Finance Committee.  

Lawmakers passed bipartisan legislation last year, the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act, which aims to “crack down on anti-competitive practices in the U.S. organ donation system” and break up the contract for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. 

SEE MORE: How does the organ transplant system work?


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