A Simple Mathematical Equation Disqualified Black Patients for Kidney Transplants

At Mass General Brigham, a Boston hospital, doctors punching numbers into the computer system to calculate their patient’s kidney health would see this message:

“If patient is Black, multiply by 1.159.”

The number that doctors calculated, a single number that measured how well the kidneys filter waste, is a key factor in the kind of care patients receive. It’s also crucial for whether the patient is prioritized for kidney transplants.