How a New Program Helps People with Kidney Failure Become Eligible for a Transplant

Transplantation is widely considered the gold standard of care for patients with kidney failure, as transplant recipients are healthier than those on dialysis and also live an average of 10 years longer.

Unfortunately, many people with kidney failure encounter barriers that keep them from receiving a transplant or even being eligible for the national transplant waiting list.

Before being added to the waitlist, an individual must first be evaluated and accepted by a transplant center. While each transplant center sets its own guidelines for deciding whether a person is a fit for a kidney transplant, the process typically includes:

  • A review of the candidate’s medical and surgical history.
  • A physical examination to make sure the person is healthy enough for surgery.
  • A mental health evaluation to help ensure the individual is emotionally prepared for a transplant surgery, post-transplant care and living with a new kidney.
  • Compatibility tests such as blood and tissue typing to help match the person to a suitable kidney.

During the evaluation process, it may be decided that an individual doesn’t fit the eligibility criteria to be added to the waitlist for a kidney transplant. Once this happens, a person with kidney failure has limited to no opportunities to receive their lifesaving organ.

“The two barriers that we saw most often were obesity and mental health, such as depression,” says Susan Rees, chief clinical officer at Rejuvenate Kidney Transplant Solutions.

Rejuvenate partners with brokers, captives, benefits consultants and self-insured employers to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by increasing access to kidney transplants.  In 2023, the team launched its Health to Hope program to help more people overcome barriers to being added to the waitlist.

“This is another service line that they can offer to those with kidney failure,” says Rees. “What they are going to get out of it is a healthier and more productive employee, and also, an employee who will reach transplantation sooner rather than later.”

The Health to Hope program pairs individuals with life coaches who help them pass the physical and mental health requirements necessary to be listed for a kidney transplant.

“I’m very proud of the team that we’ve assembled for the Health to Hope program because it’s a group of passionate people that wants to look at holistic measures that can help someone get off dialysis and listed for a transplant sooner,” says Rees.

“Each individual brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can help these patients improve their lifestyle,” she says.

More information about the life coaches and their expertise is available on the Health to Hope webpage. Learn more about how the program helps employers reduce expenses and save lives by scheduling a call with Rejuvenate today.