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Kidney and Pancreas Transplant

Services

Kidney and Pancreas Transplant

Our experienced, multidisciplinary transplant teams strive to provide personal, compassionate care with a patient- and family- centered approach.

1120 15th Street, BA-4236
Augusta, GA 30912
706-721-2888
1-800-736-2273, ext2888
Become a Donor

  • Kidney and Pancreas Transplant

About Us

Since 1968, Augusta University Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia has performed approximately 100 transplants per year.  We provide transplant care to patients in Georgia, South Carolina, and throughout the southeast. As a leader in patient- and family-centered care, our dedicated multi-disciplinary team recognizes the special needs patients requiring a kidney or kidney/pancreas transplant.  We understand that living with a transplant may affect patients’ lifestyles in many ways.  We help patients resume many of their former activities and encourage them to maximize their quality of life.

Our program offers patients and families the academic advantage including:

  • Performance of the first transplant on August 28, 1968
  • Services for adult and pediatric patients
  • The only kidney transplant center in Georgia outside of Atlanta
  • Satellite clinic locations for pre-transplant evaluation testing and post-transplant follow-up care
  • A full-time fundraising coordinator to assist patients in developing financial plans for post-transplant medication costs

Referring Physicians and Dialysis Centers

Listed below are the documents and information necessary for timely, accurate processing of patient referrals

We have a dedicated staff of administrative professionals, registered nurses, and financial coordinators who will keep you informed via telephone, fax, and written communication regarding your patient’s progress throughout the transplant evaluation process.

View a flowchart of the transplant evaluation process.

Who should be referred?

  • Patients progressing to end stage renal disease
  • Patients interested in learning more about kidney and/or pancreas transplant
  • Patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or lower. Calculate your BMI.
  • Patients with adequate psychosocial support and reliable transportation
  • Patients free from substance dependence (alcohol and illicit drugs)

View full exclusionary criteria

 Ongoing Communication

We send quarterly patient status reports to your office or center indicating status.

View a sample Patient Status Report.

The evaluation process consists of several steps.

Step 1: Orientation Class

Step 2: Evaluation Day

  • Meet with all members of the interdisciplinary team
  • Complete initial lab testing
  • Complete radiology and/or cardiology testing

Step 3: Completion of Additional Testing

  • Health Screening
  • Specialist testing

Step 4: Determination of Candidacy

Becoming a Kidney Donor

The decision to donate a kidney is an important and personal one and it is very normal to have many questions and concerns about living donation. We strive to make the donation process as convenient as possible.

The donor evaluation process is generally completed in four steps:

Step 1: Complete Form

Step 2: blood typing, tissue compatibility, and antigen matching.  This step can be completed without coming to Medical Center at Augusta University

Step 3: Blood and urine tests to evaluate your kidney function and overall health.  This step can also be done without coming to Medical Center at Augusta University.  If you progress to “Step Two,” your coordinator will send a request for these tests and give you an authorization for Medical Center at Augusta University's payment of these tests.  After your lab results have been received and approved, you will be given the option of moving to the next step.

Step 4:  X-rays of your chest and an EKG of your heart. 

Step 5: CT scan, visit with donor nephrologist and visit with a living donor.

Step 6: your case will be discussed in a multidisciplinary meeting called “Donor Conference.”  Your transplant coordinator will contact you after Donor Conference to discuss your eligibility as a donor.

The Augusta University Health Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program encourages a financial plan for those who are considering a transplant.  The high cost of post-transplant medications and other associated transplant fees make it difficult for many to manage.  Financial Coordinators, along with a Fundraising Coordinator and Social Worker, work together with transplant candidates to help develop a financial plan to cover post-transplant expenses.

Financial Planning for Transplant

A financial plan is necessary prior to being considered for a transplant evaluation.  Determining a need for a financial plan is dependent upon your insurance coverage. 

Upon completion of the orientation class, financial coordinators will contact your insurance company and determine coverage for transplant surgery and post-transplant medications.  You will be notified by phone or mail about your coverage for transplant.  Depending on the coverage, you may need to be placed on a financial plan or proof of savings plan to cover the post-transplant out-of-pocket expenses. 

How do insurance companies cover transplant expenses?

  • Medicare part A covers 100% for transplant surgery and Medicare part B covers 80% toward clinic visits, doctor fees, and immunosuppressant (anti-rejection) medication for three years after transplant (unless you have Medicare for another disability or for age).  A financial plan is usually needed for those who only have Medicare A, B, and D.
  • Medicare part D covers prescription medications, however the plan has a gap in coverage.  After the total drug costs reach $2,510, you will meet this gap in coverage and the next $4,050 must be paid by you before Medicare will pay for any medications.

If you only have Georgia Medicaid, it covers 100% of transplant expenses; however, Georgia Medicaid requires medical records to determine eligibility for payment which we will assist you with submitting.

If you only have South Carolina Medicaid and are not eligible for Medicare benefits, your insurance will not cover a transplant at Augusta University Health. As long as you are eligible for Medicare benefits you are covered for transplant.

The fundraising coordinator will assist you and your family by providing ideas in which your goal can be achieved; for many this is done through fundraising. The goal may be satisfied using an existing savings account, an existing retirement account, or through other financial means.

Financial Assistance

The Augusta University Health Transplant Coordinators work with other programs to help you obtain your goals. Programs such as The Georgia Transplant Foundation, The National Transplant Assistance Fund, Donate Life and The National Foundation for Transplant offer services for transplant candidates, their families, and living donors.

The Access to Care program, available through The Georgia Transplant Foundation (GTF), is only available to Georgia residents. This program will match your savings dollar per dollar up to $10,000. The fundraising coordinator can help you understand the program and enroll.  The Transplant Savings Account, also available through GTF, is available to residents of South Carolina. The Transplant Savings Account cannot match your fundraising deposits, but it does offer many benefits associated with the Access to Care program.

Fundraising

Fundraising is a great way to help offset the high costs of post-transplant medications and associated medical expenses. The fundraising coordinator has many ideas to help you determine which fundraiser will best fit your lifestyle. Below are tips for a successful fundraiser:

  • Open a savings account designated as a transplant fund for you. Have two people you trust open the account for you, it is best you do not have direct access to the account. Family members, the pastor at your church, or close friends would be good choices.
  • Attend a fundraising seminar.
  • Make it known that you are trying to raise money for transplant expenses. Talk to your family and friends about your savings goal. Ask for volunteers to help you raise the money.
  • Talk to your church or civic group about helping. Most churches are willing to help their members in time of need especially for a life saving event.
  • Meet with your team of volunteers. Educate them on your needs. Choose a team leader other then yourself to coordinate the event.  Decide on a fundraiser. Set a date and time for the event. Larger events take at least 3 months to coordinate.
  • Advertise your fundraiser. Talk to the media. Call around to the local paper and radio stations to see if they will advertise it for free. Try to have as much donated as possible.
  • Send letters to friends, family, businesses, churches and civic groups asking for donations.
  • Have a donation jar available for monetary donations.
  • Imagine yourself coming to the event. What would you be looking for?
  • Do not spend more on the event then you expect to make. You should make at least 50% profit on your event.
  • Make sure you follow all state and federal laws when planning an event.
  • Plan an event that is fun and profitable!
 

Our Providers

Augusta University Medical Center specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.

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