The Current Status of Organ Recovery Surgeon Remuneration in the United States

Michael R. Marvin, Haaris Kadri, Jason R. Wellen, Marc L. Melcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Remuneration for surgeons who procure organs for transplantation from deceased donors is highly variable throughout the country and not standardized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS does not grant formal relative value units (RVUs) for organ recoveries but some transplant centers award “non-standardized” RVUs in an ad hoc fashion. Recent Findings: A REDCap survey was sent out by the Business Practice Committee of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons to understand the practices of individual transplant centers regarding payment for transplant-related procedures. Survey respondents represented 105 transplant centers and 49 organ procurement organizations. Of these programs, 29 provided RVU compensation for procurement-related procedures, and 33 hired donor surgeons. For deceased kidney and liver procurements, the range of RVUs awarded, if provided at all, was from 6 to 33 and 14.5 to 79, respectively. Summary: Our survey found that the number of RVUs provided to procurement surgeons for deceased donation is variable across transplant centers, with the majority receiving no RVUs. Active dialogue regarding establishing equity in organ procurement surgeon remuneration is necessary to ensure adequate compensation for these procedures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Transplantation Reports
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • Organ recovery
  • Relative value units
  • Remuneration


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