Trump’s new kidney program aims to increase donations, supply of organs

President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the government to revamp the nation’s care for kidney disease so that more people whose kidneys fail have a chance at early transplants and home dialysis.

Trump said his order was intended to increase the supply of donated kidneys, make it easier for patients to undergo dialysis in the comfort of their own homes and prioritize the development of an artificial kidney.

“It’s truly an exciting day for advancing kidney health in our country,” Trump said Wednesday.

That won’t happen overnight — some of the initiatives will require new government regulations.

And because a severe organ shortage complicates the call for more transplants, the administration also aims to ease financial hardships for living donors, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement.

Another key change: steps to help the groups that collect deceased donations do a better job. Officials cited a study that suggests long term it may be possible to find 17,000 more kidneys and 11,000 other organs from deceased donors for transplant every year.

Federal health officials have made clear for months that they intend to shake up a system that today favors expensive, time-consuming dialysis in large centers over easier-to-tolerate at-home care or transplants that help patients live longer.