University of Kentucky Hospital Transplant Center recently received approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for payment by Medicare for lung transplants. With this approval, all solid lung transplants performed at UK are now Medicare approved.
“The UK Transplant Center team welcomes this opportunity to provide lung transplantation services to Medicare beneficiaries,” said Dr. Timothy Mullett, director of the lung transplantation program. “These patients now can receive care much closer to home.”
In addition to lung, UK provides transplantation services for all major solid organs including heart, liver, kidney, kidney/pancreas, and pancreas.
UK achieved all of the necessary criteria to obtain approval. Meeting the stringent criteria indicates a high level of quality of care that has only been accomplished in two-thirds of the centers that perform lung transplantations.
“This represents the efforts and dedication of our entire team to achieve successful transplantation in our patients,” Mullett said. “We look forward to bringing this opportunity to even more patients in Kentucky and the surrounding states.”
All lung transplants performed on Medicare beneficiaries on or after Aug.16, 2004, may be covered and paid for by the Medicare program under the usual claims payment process.
The UK Transplant Center lung transplant program began in 1991 and more than 137 lung transplantations have been performed. Most patients receive a single lung. Those requiring both lungs usually suffer from illnesses associated with chronic lung infections. The goal of lung transplantation is to improve lung functioning for patients suffering from end-stage pulmonary disease, those who have limited daily activities and who require oxygen, and those who have good potential for rehabilitation afterwards. Currently, there are 42 patients awaiting lung transplantation in Kentucky.