The Continuous Distribution Model: A New System for Organ Allocation

Activity description

This activity consists of a recorded presentation from the "Essentials of Oncology, Solid Organ and Blood/Marrow Transplant Management for the Health Care Team" conference held in Scottsdale, Ariz., March 14–15, 2022.

Recently, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), in partnership with technology leaders, has announced an upcoming transition to a flexible organ-allocation system based on multi-criteria decision-making and data analytics. This evidence-based algorithm aims to increase equity among potential recipients — enabling those with the greatest needs to be more quickly transplanted — and to make better use of the limited organ supply. How does this continuous distribution system work? When and how will the transition from the current system occur? In this session, participants will learn about the timeline for UNOS’s implementation of this flexible, points-based approach for all organ systems; how continuous distribution differs from the current system; and how this program is expected to benefit those who await organ transplant and impact future organ-allocation policy.

Provided by
This activity is provided by OptumHealth Education.

Commercial support
There was no commercial support for this activity.

Required hardware/software
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Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of case managers, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physicians, psychologists, social workers, dietitians, and other health care professionals who are interested in transplantation and the organ allocation system.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss an overview of the new continuous distribution framework and how it differs from the current organ-allocation system.
  • Describe potential organ recipients’ composite allocation score in the new points system and explain how this score is determined.
  • Identify the timeline and logistics under which all organ systems will transition to the new continuous distribution framework.
  • Review the expected outcomes of the continuous distribution organ allocation framework for patients and health systems, as well as its expected effects on future policy.

Additional Information

Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.75 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 0.75 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 0.75 AMA - Physicians
  • 0.75 ANCC - Nurses
  • 0.75 APA - Psychologists
  • 0.75 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 0.75 CCMC - General - Case Managers
  • 0.75 CDR - Dietitians
  • 0.75 ASWB - Social Workers
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 


Dr. Maryjane FarrMaryjane Farr, MD, MSc, FACC, FAST
Section Chief, Heart Failure, MCS and Heart Transplantation
Jackie and Charles Solomon Distinguished Chair in Clinical Excellence
Professor of Medicine
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX

About the presenter

Dr. Maryjane Farr joined the UT Southwestern Medical Center in September 2021, as professor of medicine and section chief of heart failure, mechanical circulatory support and transplant. Previously, she was the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman associate professor of medicine and medical director of the Adult Heart Transplant Program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Farr is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University (BA ’89), Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, AOA (’98) and the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health (MSc ’12). She trained in internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases and advanced heart failure and transplant at the New York Presbyterian Hospital and joined the staff in 2005. She was director of clinical trials in heart failure and transplant at Columbia from 2007–2012, received an NIH training grant for her master’s degree from 2010–2012 and was awarded the Shorin Silverstein Research in Transplant Award (at Columbia) for 2012–2014. Dr. Farr directed the Columbia Adult Heart Transplant Program for six years, and during her 14 years on the team participated in the management of nearly 1,000 new heart transplant recipients.

Dr. Farr has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts in the field of heart failure, mechanical circulatory support, and transplant. She has participated in scholarly work and education with the ACC, AHA, HFSA, ISHLT, and AST. She has been an active member and leader at UNOS/OPTN on the Thoracic Committee, as heart subcommittee chair, on the Membership and Professional Standards Committee, as Region 9 (New York) associate councilor, and was recently appointed to the UNOS/OPTN Board of Directors (2021). She is the chair of the Conflict of Interest Committee for the ISHLT, and she is an associate editor of Transplantation and content editor at Circulation.

Dr. Farr's key areas of interest are organ allocation, primary graft failure, complications of mechanical circulatory support as bridge to transplant and overall survival of patients with advanced heart failure.

Planning Committee

Elizabeth Albert, MD
Clinical Activity Manager
OptumHealth Education
Eden Prairie, MN

Matthew Cooper, MD
President, UNOS Board of Directors;
Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation
Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute;
Professor of Surgery
Georgetown University School of Medicine
Washington, DC

Rebecca Gleason, RN, CCM
Activity Manager
OptumHealth Education
Eden Prairie, MN

Alan N. Langnas, DO, FACS
Professor of Surgery
Director, Center of Transplantation
Chief, Section of Transplantation,
Department of Surgery
University of Nebraska Medical Center;
Director of Liver Transplantation
Nebraska Medicine
Omaha, NE

C. Fred LeMaistre, MD
Senior Vice President
Senior Vice President, Market Operations
Physician-in-Chief, Hematology
Sarah Cannon
Nashville, TN

Tina Rydland, PharmD
ArdentCare Solutions
Denver, CO

Disclosures of relevant financial relationships

In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's (ACCME) Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, OptumHealth Education (OHE) requires all those in control of educational content to disclose their financial relationships with ineligible companies within the prior 24 months. Ineligible companies are defined by the ACCME as companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care products used by or on patients. Individuals must disclose all financial relationships, regardless of the amount, with ineligible companies and regardless of their view of the relevance of the relationship to the education. OHE ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

The activity faculty and planners have no financial relationships to disclose.

Method for calculating CE credit
CE credit was calculated by the complexity of content.

Accreditation Statement
Joint Accreditation LogoIn support of improving patient care, OptumHealth Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the health care team.


Credit designation statements
IPCE Credit LogoThis activity was planned by and for the health care team, and learners will receive 0.75 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credits for learning and change.

The participant will be awarded up to 0.75 contact hour(s) of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.

Nurse practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

Pharmacists/Pharmacy technicians
This activity is approved for 0.75 contact hour(s) ([0.075] CEU) in states that recognize ACPE.
Attending the full program will earn 0.75 contact hour(s).
Unique Activity Number(s): JA0007123-0000-22-143-H04-P/T

OptumHealth Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Case managers
The Commission for Case Manager Certification has approved this program for a maximum of 0.75 clock hour(s) for Certified Case Managers (CCM).

Completion of this RD/DTR profession-specific or IPCE activity awards CPEUs (One IPCE credit=One CPEU). 

If the activity is dietetics-related but not targeted to RDs or DTRs, CPEUs may be claimed which are commensurate with participation in contact hours (One 60 minute hour=1 CPEU). 

RD's and DTRs are to select activity type 102 in their Activity Log. Performance indicator selection is at the learner's discretion. 

Psychologists and social workers
Participants must have attended the entire Web-based activity and completed an evaluation to receive a certificate. Partial credit is not available.

OptumHealth Education is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. OptumHealth Education maintains responsibility for this program. 0.75 CE hour.

Social Workers

ACE Logo

As a Jointly Accredited Organization, OptumHealth Education is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. OptumHealth Education maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 0.75 enduring continuing education credit.

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been preapproved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization with which they wish to obtain credit.

Available Credit

  • 0.75 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 0.75 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 0.75 AMA - Physicians
  • 0.75 ANCC - Nurses
  • 0.75 APA - Psychologists
  • 0.75 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 0.75 CCMC - General - Case Managers
  • 0.75 CDR - Dietitians
  • 0.75 ASWB - Social Workers
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