Wealth Advantage For Organ Transplants

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A new study suggests that wealthy people are more likely to get on multiple waiting lists and to score an organ transplant, and less likely to die while waiting for one.

Donor organs are assigned based on medical need, time on a waiting list and other factors. Patients can get on waiting lists in more than one area but often must pay for new tests to qualify, and travel on short notice if an organ becomes available.

The new study looked at records for more than a decade and found that multiple-listed patients had higher transplant rates, lived in higher-income zip codes and were more likely to have private insurance versus Medicaid.

Results were discussed Monday at an American Heart Association conference in Orlando.