New research from Dr. Zarrinpar reveals non-Hispanic Black patients are disproportionately left off liver transplant waitlists—and why

A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shed light on key factors as to why non-Hispanic white patients get placed on liver transplant waitlists at disproportionately higher rates than non-Hispanic Black patients.

“Most studies in transplant disparities look at a transplant centers at a nationwide level,” said Ali Zarrinpar, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Division of Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery, said. “And some individual centers do a better job than others in being representative of their area. I wanted to know: What distinguishes those from those centers that are not?”

Ultimately, Zarrinpar said, it’s not that big centers or small centers are better. In fact, it largely boils down to one thing: What kind of insurance centers end up accepting.

“We really need to examine why certain centers are accepting more private insurance than public insurance,” Zarrinpar said.

Image courtesy of JACS