Direct and indirect costs incurred by Australian living kidney donors
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AIM: To describe the direct and indirect costs incurred by Australian living kidney donors. METHODS: A total of 55 living kidney donors from three centres in Perth, Australia and one centre in Melbourne, Australia (2010-2014) was studied. Forty-nine donors provided information on expenses incurred during the donor evaluation period and up to 3 months after donation. A micro-costing approach was used to measure and value the units of resources consumed. Expenses were grouped as direct costs (ground and air travel, accommodation, and prescription medications) and indirect costs (lost wages and lost productivity). Costs were standardized to the year 2016 in Australian dollars. RESULTS: The most common direct costs were for ground travel (100%), parking (76%), and post-donation pain medications or antibiotics (73%). The highest direct costs were for air travel (median $1986 [three donors]) and ground travel (median $459 [49 donors]). Donors also reported lost wages (median $9891 [37 donors]). The inability to perform household activities or care for dependants were reported by 32 (65%) and 23 (47%) donors. Total direct costs averaged $1682 per donor (median $806 among 49 donors). Total indirect costs averaged $7249 per donor (median $7273 among 49 donors). Total direct and indirect costs averaged $8932 per donor (median $7963 among 49 donors). CONCLUSION: Many Australian living kidney donors incur substantial costs during the donation process. Our findings inform the continued development of policies and programmes designed to minimize costs incurred by living kidney donors.
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