Federal regulators said the new agreement with LiveOnNY provides “more frequent oversight” and requires the organ procurement organization, or OPO, to increase its organ recovery rates substantially. In other news from the federal government: digitizing veterans’ records and halting the crackdown on e-cigarettes.
Federal regulators in June took the unusual step of announcing they would shut down a New York-based nonprofit organization responsible for recovering human organs for transplantation. On Friday, regulators reversed that decision even though the organization, LiveOnNY, has received poor performance scores for nearly a decade and its organ recovery rates remain among the lowest in the nation. LiveOnNY, the second largest of 58 federally designed organ procurement organizations, confirmed Monday that its contract with the federal government was renewed. The organization declined interview requests and said it would not comment on how it plans to boost organ donation in the New York region. (Kindy and Bernstein, 2/4)
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is planning to digitize its Vietnam-era combat records in a bid to speed the verification of claims over mental health issues for aging vets. The agency issued a “request for information” for companies interested in converting the archival text files into Excel-type spreadsheets. Data filtering will then be used to quickly verify potentially traumatic events claimed by ex-military personnel, according to a notice from the department. (Norman, 2/2)
A coalition of conservative groups is urging President Trump to stop the Food and Drug Administration’s “aggressive regulatory assault” on businesses that sell e-cigarettes. The FDA under Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has cracked down on e-cigarette sellers and manufacturers amid an epidemic of use among minors. But the conservative groups, led by Americans for Tax Reform, argued the FDA is pursuing policies that are “more extreme than those contemplated by the Obama administration.” (Hellmann, 2/4)
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