Considering Kidney Donation
- Medical tests which will require at least one full day at the hospital.
- 1-3 days in the hospital after surgery.
- Typically 2 - 4 weeks off work for recovery
For a review of kidney donation risks, click here.
We've Got Your Back
The DCN wants to ensure that financial burdens due to kidney donation are minimized. Donors that make $62,000 or less per year may be eligible for reimbursement of up to 4 weeks of lost wages, with reimbursement for weeks 3 & 4 requiring clearance from the transplant center. Lost wages are defined and limited to documented expected earnings that a donor lost due to time missed at work as a result of the kidney donation.
Donors who donate at a DCN center are eligible for up to $2,000 in reimbursements of their travel and lodging expenses, for them and a travelling companion, related to their kidney donation based on submitted receipts. Add-on or luxury expenses are excluded. Driving expenses are reimbursed at the IRS medical mileage rate. Lodging reimbursement covers hotels in the proximity of the transplant center.
Leaders of the DCN are living kidney donors who donated their kidneys. As such, we intimately understand the living donor process and are committed to ensuring a convenient and safe donation experience for all living kidney donors.
Any donor who registers through the DCN and donates through an NKR paired exchange swap will receive the benefits of the NKR Medical Board Policies. The NKR currently provides 'kidney prioritization' to all NKR donors enabled by our Medical Board policy that states that should an NKR donor’s remaining kidney ever fail, they will be prioritized in the NKR program to receive a living donor kidney. This is in addition to the prioritization points that a living donor receives on the national deceased donor wait list. Research shows that living donor kidney transplants can last approximately twice as long as deceased donor kidney transplants. The NKR prioritization for a living donor kidney provides additional reassurance in the unlikely case that a donor will ever need a kidney transplant.
If a kidney donor experiences post-surgical complications (e.g. hernia, etc.) related to kidney donation, these medical costs should be paid for by the recipient’s medical insurance. Sometimes insurance companies avoid paying these costs by limiting the time that they will pay for donor complications. Sometimes insurance companies ask the donor for an additional co-payment for donor complications. While these instances are rare, they do happen and they are morally wrong. Through the Donor Protection Program, the DCN ensures that any donor who donates at a DCN center is never asked to pay for a post-surgical complication that is a result of their kidney donation. DCN Centers of Excellence agree to waive all uncovered donor complications for any donors that undergo donor surgery at the Member Center’s Hospital. If you have a complication related to your kidney donation, please speak to the transplant program that performed your surgery.
Any donor who registers through the DCN and donates through NKR will be automatically provided with basic kidney donation life insurance which is purchased by NKR. The insurance includes a $500,000 principal sum covering a period of 365 days post donation. Notification of a claim must be provided within 90 days of a covered accident.
Any donor who registers through the DCN and donates through NKR will be automatically provided with basic donation disability insurance coverage which is purchased by NKR. The temporary total disability insurance includes a maximum $1,500 weekly benefit for 365 days subject to the donors last 12 months of earnings, with a 30-day waiting period.
Generally most employers and insurance companies are very supportive of living kidney donation. Some employers (e.g. the Federal Government, the National Kidney Registry, etc.) offer additional paid leave to employees that donate a kidney. However, we have seen situations where employers are not so supportive, and in one case the NKR was instrumental winning a wrongful termination case when a donor involved in an NKR living paired exchange was fired for taking the time off to donate a kidney. We also understand that some donors, after they donate, lose their health insurance or see health insurance premium increases solely due to donating a kidney. This is very uncommon, but it is morally wrong. If you donate your kidney at a DCN Center of Excellence, and are wrongfully terminated from your employment, see a rise in insurance premiums or lose your health insurance as a result of your donation, the DCN will stand behind you and our legal counsel will do everything reasonably possible to advocate on your behalf.
Have you ever noticed that organizations who routinely survey customer satisfaction generally provide better service? If you are referred to a transplant center from the DCN web site you will be given an opportunity to provide direct feedback to the center via the "Five Star Survey." The survey is sent to the donor via email upon completion of the following key steps in the donation process: workup, pre-op testing, surgery + 3 days & surgery +30 days. The satisfaction survey is designed to take less than 5 minutes to complete and allows Members Centers to continuously improve the donation process.
Paper-based donor screening and medical history data collection is inconvenient for donors. To make matters worse, many donor candidates are required to provide medical history multiple times during the intake process. The DCN has eliminated this problem by providing online donor screening so that potential donors can determine in less than five minutes, if they are medically qualified to donate and which centers will accept them as donor candidates. Once the screening process is completed, the DCN collects your comprehensive medical history in an easy to use online format. Once the candidate completes the medical history, the data is electronically transferred to the transplant center.
To get started
- Complete the DCN Screening. 5 mins
- If cleared, next day, complete full medical history. ~1 hour
- Center will contact you. ~3 days
Then, (may vary slightly by center)
- Complete workups & labs. 1-2 days
- Get cleared for donation. 1-4 weeks
- Schedule Pre-Op and Surgery
- Complete Pre-Op
- Complete Surgery
- Periodic follow-ups