The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released a plan to overhaul the nation's organ transplant system, which has long been plagued by sometimes lethal delays and IT failures. 

The plan will open the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) to competitive bidding, with the goal of upgrading the system to meet industry-leading standards designed to improve data-tracking and how organs are matched with patients. 

“Every day, patients and families across the United States rely on the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to save the lives of their loved ones who experience organ failure,” said Carole Johnson, HRSA Administrator, in a news release.  

The overhaul follows a series of reports from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the White House's U.S. Digital Service that showed widespread failures in the system. 

“At HRSA, our stewardship and oversight of this vital work is a top priority," Johnson said. "That is why we are taking action to both bring greater transparency to the system and to reform and modernize the OPTN. The individuals and families that depend on this life-saving work deserve no less.”

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