Need a New Heart? Don’t Go to Temple

Why the hospital's transplant programs are in trouble with the state

Jenna Bergen

If you’re in the market for a new organ, Temple University Hospital may not be the best place to schedule your transplant. According to an article that ran in yesterday’s Inquirer, four of Temple University Hospital’s transplant programs — lung, kidney, heart and liver — have been cited by the Pennsylvania Department of Health “for failing to meet federal rules for participating in Medicare.” One major reason: The lung and kidney programs are above average for graft failures, which means the transplanted organ was viable for less than a year post-transplant. If patients didn’t receive a second transplant, there’s a good chance they’re no longer breathing. Among other infringements, the state also says Temple isn’t logging enough heart transplants to ensure its surgeons are experienced enough to handle such a complex surgery. And I think we can all agree that if someone is about to crack open your chest and plug in an entirely new battery, they better have done it far more than just a few times.