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'Redistricting' Considered for Liver Donor Maps

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 23, 2013

If it were up to him, Mulligan says he'd like to see a nationally coordinated allocation plan for donated livers in place within the next few months. "But realistically, I would like to see the first step of Phase 1 of a redistricting plan in place and out for public comment and going forward with board approval for implementation within the next two years," he says. "That is going to be a bold undertaking, but that is what we are trying to achieve. It may take longer, but I am going to do everything possible to make it as short a time as possible as I can."

If the coordinated effort works for donated livers, Mulligan says it could serve as a distribution model for other donated organs, which often have their own unique distribution networks.  

"If this is successful in liver [allocations] we will need to study to see if there is something we can do to improve the way hearts are distributed, because they do a whole different system," he says. "They are distributed based on circle distribution from each donor hospital, how many hundreds of miles they go out and how sick they are. We would look to applying these types of mathematical models to all organs and maybe adjust the models to factors that are necessary for each of these organs to make the process better."  


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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