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An Assurance of Insurance: Should Living Kidney Donors be Required to have Health Insurance?

Background: The aims of the study were to examine if living donors followed the recommended UNOS medical visits postsurgery examinations and to assess if medical outcomes after donating a kidney were different by insurance status.
Methods: Data was collected from the medical records of 680 consecutive living kidney donors between January 2010 and June 2015.
Results: Significant predictors of having health insurance included higher levels of education (p=0.007) and being married (p=0.031). Post-surgical visits were lower for those without insurance at six months (43% versus 77%; p=0.029) and one year (35% versus 77%, p<0.001) than those with insurance. A robust trend was observed whereas lack of health insurance was predictive of higher systolic blood pressure (p=0.05). Significant predictors of higher systolic blood pressure included being older (p<0.001), male (p<0.001); and non-Caucasian (p=0.012). Significant predictors of higher diastolic blood pressure were being male (p<0.001) and non- Caucasian (p=0.020); and prior drug use (p=0.003).
Conclusion: Development of interventions to improve postsurgical follow up for kidney donors without insurance is warranted to potentially reduce poor health outcomes such as hypertension post kidney donation.


Jordan Siegel, Abhinav Humar, Hannah Cheng, Andrew Krane, Naadia Ahmed, Amit Tevar, Peter Gianaros and Jennifer L Steel

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