CONFIRMED: Wealthy CKD Patients DO Get Kidneys Faster And Therefore Less Likely To Die. How And Why?



"Despite appearing less sick, they [wealthy patients] were more likely to receive a transplant and were less likely to die while waiting," said Dr. Raymond Givens (Columbia University Medical Center) to an Associated Press reporter. Hence, although over 4,500 Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients die while waiting on the overcrowded (100,000+ patients) Kidney Transplant List every year, the wealthy spend less time on the list and are not likely to die because they are able to afford to list in multiple regions. Is this fair?

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The benefits of listing at multiple Kidney Transplant Centers are clear. For instance, "Multiple listings will cut the chance of dying while waiting by 12%," reported the Associated Press. Still, many insurance policies refuse to cover multiple listings.

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Patients on multiple Kidney Transplant Waiting Lists often must pay out-of-pocket for a new set of tests - due to the lack of insurance coverage - which can cost upwards of approximately $23,000.00, plus they must be able to afford local housing or travel on short notice if an organ becomes available. Could you afford to Multi-List?

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"Steve Jobs is the classic example," noted Robert Veatch (Georgetown University). Even though Steve lived in Northern California, he quickly received a Liver Transplant in Tennessee. Soon after transplant, Jobs said, "My doctors here advised me to enroll in a transplant program in Memphis, Tennessee, where the supply/demand ratio of livers is more favorable than it is in California."

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To his credit, Mr. Jobs did spend millions to help others in his situation. Nonetheless, many wealthy Chronic Kidney Disease patients have the ability to rapidly acquire their Lifesaving Kidneys, leaving other patients waiting. The study found that some rich Chronic Kidney Disease patients were listed at as many as eight (8) different Transplant Centers in order to cut their wait times.    

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Whenever someone rich and famous receives a transplant, suspicions inevitably arise about whether that person managed to jump to the head of the waiting list and take an organ that might have saved the life of somebody just as desperate but less glamorous. This new Columbia University Research Study proves that the theory is not a far stretch from current practices. 

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The Daily Mail wrote, "Compared to people on just one list, those on several lists were younger, more likely to have private insurance and less likely to be covered by Medicaid." Kidney Transplants are the greatest organ in demand and while the United Network for Organ Sharing (agency that runs the nation's transplant system) has considered ending the Multi-Listing Policy, it finds that doing so would limit patients' freedom to list wherever they would like.

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Do you agree with the decision? Please join the discussion with our nearly 32,000 Friends at the Facebook Fan Page and share your thoughts about the "Wealth Advantage" that rich Chronic Kidney Disease patients seem to have. 

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