HHS last week issued proposed regulations that would allocate organs donated for transplants based primarily on medical need rather than geography.
The proposed rules would overturn the current system that preferentially allocates donated organs locally and then regionally.
Critics have argued that the current system administered by United Network for Organ Sharing, a federal contractor based in Richmond, Va., shortchanges critically ill patients in areas with longer than average waiting times, especially for livers.
Supporters of the current system have said local use encourages more donations and allows small and modest-sized centers to maintain transplant programs.
Sen. William Frist (R-Tenn.), a heart transplant surgeon and chairman of the Senate Labor and Human Resources subcommittee on public health and safety, said he will hold a hearing to examine the proposed regulation in detail.
The rule won't take effect until after a 60-day comment period and a subsequent 90-day delay following its publication in final form in the Federal Register.