Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Set the markets free

Wealthy patrons are getting kidneys much more quickly and frequently than poor ones:
Researchers studied the national database of organ donors from 2000 to 2013 and found that patients who simultaneously listed at more than one center had higher transplant rates, lower death rates while waiting, were wealthier and were more likely to be insured.
How do they do it?
... wealthier patients ... have the money for travel, temporary housing and other costs of multiple listing that are not covered by health insurance, Givens said. Patients with state-run Medicaid generally have lower income and may not have the option to list themselves at a center in a different state.
Time is now for a market.

HT:  Marginal Revolution


  1. This would be possibly the most complex market, though would you not consider UNOS to be that market? From their website: “The matching criteria developed by the transplant community, and approved by UNOS’ Board of Directors, are programmed into UNOS’ computer matching system. Only medical and logistical factors are used in organ matching. Personal or social characteristics such as celebrity status, income or insurance coverage play no role in transplant priority. When an organ procurement organization gets consent for an organ donor, it also enters medical data—information such as the donor’s blood type and body size and the location of the donor hospital—into UNOS’ network. Using the combination of donor and candidate information, the UNOS computer system generates a “match run,” a rank-order list of candidates to be offered each organ. This match is unique to each donor and each organ. The candidates who will appear highest in the ranking are those who are in most urgent need of the transplant, and/or those most likely to have the best chance of survival if transplanted” (“Matching organs | UNOS,” n.d.). As for wealthy patrons getting organs faster, perhaps their wealth puts them above others on the list in terms of best chance of survival. They have the best ability to take care of themselves after surgery. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be better post-surgery care for those who are not wealthy, but that’s a whole other blog topic….
    Matching organs | UNOS. (n.d.). Retrieved November 12, 2015, from

  2. And now there's an app for that ! OrganJet was born in 2011. It flies patients to the organs. So yes, it is for the wealthy alright but you don't have to be 'as' wealthy because private jets are now reachable via fractional ownership. The price would also depend on the distance, time of the day etc.. The mobile app allows you to enter a zip code and lists five closest centers with the shortest times. Whether or not this will increase socio economic disparity is yet to be seen but for consumers it seems like a step in the right direction.

  3. This quote from the article sums it up the best-
    “The main issue is supply and demand,” Givens said. “The need for donor organs increases yearly; the supply does not. We really need more people to volunteer to donate their organs. That would relieve a lot of the strain on these inequalities. From a policy perspective, there is a need to redesign the system of organ allocation to ensure fairer access.”
    What some people have figured out is how to increase their odds of receiving a kidney. They have the means necessary to devote to searching out multiple locations to sign up on the organ donor list and the ability to drop everything and go to which ever location offering a kidney. The organs are moving from lower to higher valued uses (Froeb McCann, Shor & Ward 2014).

    Froeb, L. & McCann, B. & Shor,M. & Ward, M.(2014) Managerial Economics: A Problem Solving Approach. Boston, Massachusets: Cengage Learning

  4. Steve Jobs, whom you said made the worst business decision in history, was the recipient of a controversial liver transplant a few years prior to his death.

  5. The best thing about this blog is, we get so many articles to read and that is something that seriously helps! I am mainly doing Forex trading and for me having awareness of such unique things is always highly beneficial. I work with OctaFX broker which too is great company with forever helping me with performing well with quality conditions which includes low spreads from 0.2 pips, high leverage up to 1.500 while there is also smooth trading platform in cTrader!