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OPTN/UNOS Requirement for “On Call” Transplant Surgeon/Physician Availability

The bylaw requirement specifically applies to a single individual designated as the “on call” transplant surgeon or physician simultaneously at two separate transplant hospitals. Here are the bylaw citations and applicable language:

OPTN Bylaws, Appendix B, Attachments I.-XI –VI – A and
UNOS Bylaws, Appendix B, Attachment I – XIII-C
When “on call” a transplant surgeon and transplant physician may not be on call at two
transplant programs more than 30 miles apart unless the specific circumstances of that coverage have been reviewed and approved by the Membership and Professional Standards Committee.

The intent of previous policy was to ensure that the “on call” transplant surgeon or physician was able to be in the transplant hospital within “one hour ground transportation” to address urgent patient issues. This question appears on membership application materials regarding the Program Coverage Plan.

Program Coverage Plan Checklist from Membership

Transplant programs are now required to comply with the 30 miles “on call” obligation whenever an individual surgeon or physician is covering two hospitals simultaneously.  We further encourage you to ensure any principal “on call” transplant surgeon or physician meets the 30 mile expectation so that he or she may address urgent patient issues.

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