~ New AST, ASTS & UNOS Review Concludes Arizona Medical Data Shows Eliminated Transplants Work Joint Statement Outlines Findings, Generates Cause for Bi-Partisan Optimism ~
Two people in Arizona have died since the state reneged on approval of life-saving organ transplants for 98 citizens in the name of budget cuts. These savings work out to $8,163.27 per human life during the current fiscal year (granting the state saves $800,000, as stated by Arizona's Medicaid agency). Seeking to save their lives, the transplant patients and families have proposed 26 funding solutions to restore the transplants. These funding solutions, available at www.arizona98.com require no new spending and cut no state services or obligations.
After weeks of outreach by the transplant patients and families, members of both parties in the Arizona Legislature now confirm the funding solutions work. Despite this breakthrough, the medical efficacy of these transplants with claims such as, "Most of those (patients) may die any way". Not content leaving the fate of their loved ones to chance or faulty data, the Arizona 98 reached out to America's premier transplant organizations for guidance.
This newly requested review of the same medical data Arizona used in eliminating these transplants provides a conclusive finding. It also brings great news for the transplant patients and their families: "As leaders of the two societies representing organ transplant providers throughout the United States and the non-profit organization that manages the nation's organ transplant system, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), remain deeply concerned about the elimination of specified transplants from the benefits available to Arizona residents dependent on the AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System).
We have reviewed the evidence base used by Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ) and the Arizona state legislature to deny coverage for specified transplants and have determined that the data is both flawed and outdated. Despite AHCCCs' claims to the contrary, the four transplantation procedures no longer covered for Medicaid beneficiaries in the state of Arizona represent the best treatment option for patients with end-stage failure of these particular organs and are more cost-effective than alternative therapies because they can prolong a patient's productive life and significantly reduce his/her hospitalization rate, thus enhancing the number of quality-adjusted life-years. We have raised these issues with both AHCCC and the Governor's office and we are hopeful that these coverage decisions will be reversed."
"The time for excuses has passed", said Steven Daglas, founder of the arizona98.com group of Arizona transplant families. "People are dying for no reason. The transplant money clearly exists and we have shown the administration exactly where to find it. Our finding solutions offer 26 specific ways to restore this transplant funding without increasing spending or reducing state services. Plus, some of the best transplant specialists in the world now conclusively say that these transplants work based upon the state's own data. It's time for leaders in both parties to step up and make this right before another loved one senselessly passes away."
The American Society of Transplantation is an international organization of professionals dedicated to advancing the field of transplantation and improving patient care by promoting research, education, advocacy, and organ donation.