DENVER, Feb. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of National Donor Day—and every living organ donor—DaVita announced it increased paid leave for organ donation to four consecutive weeks for benefits-eligible teammates (employees) who donate their bone marrow, liver or kidney.
The policy change is designed to ease worries about lost wages or using accrued paid time off for the procedure and recovery. For example, the usual hospital stay for a living kidney donor is four to six daysi. Recovery continues at home with follow-up appointments and medications.
"Now is the time to unite and support the selfless, generous individuals in our communities who take courageous action and give the gift of life," said Dr. Jeff Giullian, chief medical officer for DaVita Kidney Care. "We're calling on fellow employers to join us in adopting this policy and help support thousands of Americans awaiting life-giving organ donations."
There were more than 41,000 transplants in the U.S. in 2021ii. Of those, approximately 6,500 were living donor transplants. Yet there are currently more than 106,000 candidates on a wait list for an organ transplant. Because the demand for organs continues to outpace the supply, living donations help more patients have access to transplants and help decrease time on the waitlist.
Last year DaVita and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) launched a year-long pilot within NKF's THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE® platform to help better support patients in finding a living donor, and help improve health equity in kidney transplantation.
DaVita and many others in the kidney care community have supported state and federal legislation to remove this and other barriers to living donation. Recently, the Living Donor Protection Act was introduced in Congress. Among other things, the bill, if adopted as drafted, would allow an individual to be a living donor without impacting their own insurance status.
"We must come together—patients, physicians, providers, advocates, policymakers, employers—and transform the U.S. transplant system for patients and donors," continued Dr. Giullian.
DaVita recently invested in several innovative companies aiming to transform the transplant experience for patients. In January, DaVita announced its acquisition of MedSleuth, which makes software for transplant centers that supports greater connectivity among transplant candidates, physicians and care teams to help improve the experience and outcomes for kidney and liver transplant patients.
And in 2021, DaVita Venture Group announced investments in other transplant innovations that have the potential to transform care, including:
- A needle-free test to help determine if a patient's body is rejecting a transplanted kidney
- Technology for bioengineering fully transplantable organs
To learn more about DaVita and its commitment to improving equitable access to transplantation, visit DaVita.com/Transplant.
About DaVita Inc.
DaVita (NYSE: DVA) is a comprehensive kidney care provider focused on transforming care to improve the quality of life for patients globally. The company is one of the largest providers of kidney care services in the U.S. and has been a leader in clinical quality and innovation for more than 20 years. DaVita is working to help increase equitable access to care for patients at every stage and setting along their kidney health journey—from slowing progression of kidney disease to streamlining the transplant process, from acute hospital care to dialysis at home. As of December 31, 2021, DaVita served 203,000 patients at 2,815 outpatient dialysis centers in the U.S. The company operated an additional 339 outpatient dialysis centers in ten countries worldwide. DaVita has reduced hospitalizations, improved mortality and worked collaboratively to propel the kidney care community to adopt an equitable, high-quality standard of care for all patients, everywhere. To learn more, visit DaVita.com/About.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations. Various important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements, including the risks identified in our U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. DaVita disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement contained in this press release, except as may be otherwise required by law.