Columbia Fertility Associates

4 doctors work here

Rated 7.5
Strongly recommend: 57%Neutral: 22%Don't recommend: 21%7.5
57% strongly recommend
43 reviews
Operations
7.5
7.5
Operations

Ratings of 1 indicate that a clinic was poorly operated.

Ratings of 10 indicate that a clinic operated very well.

Scheduling
8.9
8.9
Scheduling

Ratings of 1 mean it was difficult to schedule appointments with this clinic.

Ratings of 10 mean it was easy to schedule appointments.

Billing Department
6.4
6.4
Billing Department

Ratings of 1 indicate an unsatisfactory billing department.

Ratings of 10 indicate an excellent billing department.

Nursing Team
7.3
7.3
Nursing Team

Ratings of 1 indicate an unsatisfactory nursing team.

Ratings of 10 indicate an excellent nursing team.

Attention to Detail
6.4
6.4
Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is on a 1 - 10 scale, and is scored based on the rate, and severity, of errors committed by the clinic according to the patients.

For example, a severe error might be failing to inform a patient of critical information, while a small error might be failing to call a patient with results.

CDC Success Rates

This is the most recent data from the CDC. The CDC cautions that it should not be used to compare doctors and clinics.

For more information please see our FAQs.

Where you see a “?” on the chart, a clinic has done fewer than 20 cycles in this category and age range, so the CDC says showing percentages from this small data set would be misleading and unreliable.

Annual Cycles
899
National Avg
635
This Clinic
National Avg
00%
20%
40%
60%
<35
35-37
38-40
41-42
>42

Available Resources

Genetic counseling
Genetic counseling
Acupuncture
Acupuncture
Mental health counseling
Mental health counseling
Nutrition counseling
Nutrition counseling
Administration of shots
Administration of shots
Coordinating at-home nursing
Coordinating at-home nursing
Selling medication is not offered
Selling medication is not offered
Providing backup medication
Providing backup medication

This clinic has 3 offices

Arlington
1635 N. George Mason Dr
Arlington, VA 22205
(703) 525-4776
Bethesda
10215 Fernwood Road
Bethesda, MD 20817
(301) 897-8850
Washington DC
2440 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 293-6567
Show 1 more

43 patient reviews

2016, Unknown Success
10
10
Age 39
1 IUI
Anovulation
Male Factor
Native American
Income $100K - $199K
2nd of 2 Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Not sure
The doctor [Dr. Abbaa Sarhan] tries to do all the monitoring appointments herself. Prepare a list of questions when you go in each time so you can get your answers. It's a quick visit and she will try to head out without spending too much time with you. However, if you know what you want to ask, she is very helpful and does answer thoroughly...Dr. Sarhan remembers me each time I see her and remembers my treatment plan. She is personable and friendly and continues to give me hope to achieve my goal.
I did have some issue with the office/front desk staff in the beginning when getting started; the staff did not know I had already had an insurance check and was ok to do bloodwork and sono later in my cycle. I was away on vacation when I suddenly got my period. They shut be down without speaking with the doctor because they are trained that insurance is the guiding force behind fertility treatments. I spoke to several people, none of which bothered the check my records. It was Dr. Sarhan who told me to ignore the office staff and just come in for my first check.
How was your experience with Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sarhan has been kept me hopeful that I can have a child. When another fertility doctor would not treat me due to my weight, Dr. Sarhan was agreeable to treatment as long as I knew the risks. She has not stopped when we have come across issues and has made sure I was comfortable with every step. I do wish I could spend a bit more time with her, but I know she is a busy doctor with many patients. That would be my only criticism.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
The doctor tries to do all the monitoring appointments herself. Prepare a list of questions when you go in each time so you can get your answers. It's a quick visit and she will try to head out with out spending too much time with you. However, if you know what you want to ask, she is very helpful and does answer thoroughly.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sarhan remembers me each time I see her and remembers my treatment plan. She is personable and friendly and continues to give me hope to achieve my goal.
Describe the protocols Abbaa Sarhan used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
I started out doing 100mg of clomid. When I did not produce follicles we upped my clomid to 150. Still nothing. We then moved on to Gonal-f 150 injections. I was still producing slowly, so we upped it to 225. I then took 250 ovidrel injection to trigger with iui roughly 36 hours later.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia Fertility Associates. (Assigned nurse: Kalandria)
The nursing staff at Columbia Fertility are great. They have been very helpful and thorough.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
I did have some issue with the office/front desk staff in the beginning when getting started; the staff did not know I had already had an insurance check and was ok to do bloodwork and sono later in my cycle. I was away on vacation when I suddenly got my period. They shut be down without speaking with the doctor because they are trained that insurance is the guiding force behind fertility treatments. I spoke to several people, none of which bothered the check my records. It was Dr. Sarhan who told me to ignore the office staff and just come in for my first check.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates.
All of my medications were out of pocket. I paid a co-pay for each monitoring appointment. My iui was 100% covered by insurance.
10
Doctor
Abbaa Sarhan
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Arlington
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2013 - 2015, Successful
9
7
Age 35 - 37
3 IUI
2 IVF
Anovulation
Male Factor
PCOS
Ashkenazi Jewish
2nd of 2 Docs
Strongly Recommends
Neutral
Successful
Dr. Sarhan seemed very knowledgeable and up-to-date on all the scientific debates relative to the field of infertility...I saw her during every visit that required more than just taking blood, so she got to know me pretty well.... I think she might have wanted to perform more aggressive treatments, but she knew that I was hesitant, and never pressured me. She never sugar-coated anything, but she handled all bad news with respect and compassion.
The doctor was great, but the clinic [Columbia Fertility Associates] was pretty bad. The people working at the desk and the finance person were not friendly. They had a lot of problems doing things like printing receipts and having a functioning computer system. Sometimes I couldn't pay for my visit because the system was down. I was annoyed when I began discussing IVF and was referred to the "financial advisor." She just gave me a sheet telling me how much it would all cost and said I had to pay it all up front. That didn't seem like advising. Then I could only pay by credit card, not check. That meant I had to max out two separate credit cards. I would like to have had more options. On the plus side, scheduling was easy, and I almost never had to wait. I really appreciated that since I was there 1-3 times per week for three years!
How was your experience with Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sarhan seemed very knowledgeable and up-to-date on all the scientific debates relative to the field of infertility. Therefore, I completely trusted her to recommend the right things and to know all the potentials for success and failure. I saw her during every visit that required more than just taking blood, so she got to know me pretty well. We always talked about me during the visits which made me feel that she cared about me as a person, not just as a patient. She also listened to me and reassured me at every step. I think she might have wanted to perform more aggressive treatments, but she knew that I was hesitant, and never pressured me. She never sugar-coated anything, but she handled all bad news with respect and compassion. She handled good news in a way that let me know she actually cared about me as a person. She was clearly skilled in her performance of all medical procedures, so again, I trusted her completely.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. If you have any questions at all, just email her or call her office. It can take up to a day or two to receive an answer, but she will answer, and she will not be (or at least seem) annoyed that you asked.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sarhan was warm and treated me with respect. She never talked down to me or made me feel bad about my decisions or my diagnosis. She genuinely seemed to care about the success of my treatments. She also took the time to explain everything to me in detail and understood the kind of treatment I desired.
Describe the protocols Abbaa Sarhan used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
It has been a couple of years, so I don't remember all the details, but I can say that we started out conservatively, using Letrozole for stimulation. I had had adverse reactions to Clomid with a former provider, so we started with Letrozole. On my third cycle, I had a chemical pregancy. We tried for another 3 cycles and I achieved pregnancy, but I miscarried at about 6 weeks. After that, Dr. Sarhan thought we should become more proactive, so we did a few rounds of IUI, still with Letrozole since that was providing enough eggs. After three rounds of that with no success, she again recommended we become more aggressive. We did the first round of IVF with Bravelle and Menopur. That was a long (12 days maybe) and not very successful cycle. We did a trigger shot and then the retrieval. On that cycle, we only got 7 embryos, and only 2 made it to become day 5 blastocysts. Dr. Sarhan said neither looked great, but she transferred them anyway. The cycle did not result in pregnancy. For the next cycle, she changed the drugs to Follistim and Menopur. This was more of a "textbook" cycle, resulting in 12 embryos, 7 of which made it to day 5. Two were transferred, resulting in my mono-di pregnancy which resulted in 2 live births. The other 5 were frozen.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The nursing staff went through a lot of changes while I was there. The first nurse I had did not seem compassionate or warm at all, but when I miscarried, she was wonderful and sat with me for a long time. When she left, I didn't really get to know anyone else as they were each only there for a few months. Some did a great job drawing blood, while others left huge bruises every time.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
The doctor was great, but the clinic was pretty bad. The people working at the desk and the finance person were not friendly. They had a lot of problems doing things like printing receipts and having a functioning computer system. Sometimes I couldn't pay for my visit because the system was down. I was annoyed when I began discussing IVF and was referred to the "financial advisor." She just gave me a sheet telling me how much it would all cost and said I had to pay it all up front. That didn't seem like advising. Then I could only pay by credit card, not check. That meant I had to max out two separate credit cards. I would like to have had more options. On the plus side, scheduling was easy, and I almost never had to wait. I really appreciated that since I was there 1-3 times per week for three years!
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The monitoring hours were always in the morning, which worked out fine for me. I was lucky because I was a full time student with a flexible schedule. There were sometimes a lot of people in the waiting room, but I almost never waited more than about 15 minutes. There were probably a handful of times over three years where I had to wait more like 45-60 minutes.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates.
My health insurance covered fertility medications and monitoring until I started doing IUI. The IUI procedures cost $1500 each. The IVF procedures cost around $20,000 each plus the cost of medications. I can't remember exactly how much those cost, but it was several thousand more dollars.
Describe Abbaa Sarhan's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia Fertility Associates.
She didn't really give me the choice for single or multiple embryo transfer because of the quality of the embryos, my age, and my previous lack of success. For both IVF cycles, she transferred two embryos.
9
Doctor
Abbaa Sarhan
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
7
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Arlington
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2010 - 2011, Successful
10
10
Age 34 - 35
3 IUI
Donor Sperm
Other
European
Income $200K - $499K
Lawyer
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
She [Dr. Abbasi] was patient with my questions and honest about my chances. She agreed that IUI made sense first (given my age and medical history) and explained that after 6 cycles, she would recommend other options. ("cross that bridge when we come to it") When I got pregnant with twins (I'm a single mom), she was amazing candid about explaining how selective reduction would work--although I did not decide to go that route in the end...She was upfront and honest. I found her to be warm, but honestly I'm fine with more medical facts and less bedside manner.
They [Columbia - VA] have a number of locations which is good and they have a central location that is open on the weekends if you need it. They seemed well run. The insurance person was amazing. She knew more about my coverage than the people on the help line at the insurance company....I paid for the sperm and I paid for the defrosting and prep of the sperm. I think that the sperm was about $750 a vial and the prep was $250. My insurance covered everything else....[Nurses] were fine. Professional and organized. The clinic seemed to run on time...
How was your experience with Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
She was upfront and honest. I found her to be warm, but honestly I'm fine with more medical facts and less bedside manner. She was super cool with me being single. It really never came up after I explained why I was there in the beginning.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
She has a piecemeal approach--don't think about things too far down the road if you don't need to. Don't do tests that you don't need to. I really liked that.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
She was patient with my questions and honest about my chances. She agreed that IUI made sense first (given my age and medical history) and explained that after 6 cycles, she would recommend other options. ("cross that bridge when we come to it") When I got pregnant with twins (I'm a single mom), she was amazing candid about explaining how selective reduction would work--although I did not decide to go that route in the end. No judgment at all about any of it.
Describe the protocols Rafat Abbasi used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
We tried two cycles without any clomid or injections. (My choice.) Then we tried one cycle with clomid and an injection. She was supportive of my decision to try and do it naturally, but was also supportive when I changed my mind.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
As I recall they were fine. Professional and organized. The clinic seemed to run on time.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
They have a number of locations which is good and they have a central location that is open on the weekends if you need it. They seemed well run. The insurance person was amazing. She knew more about my coverage than the people on the help line at the insurance company. I was shocked at how much of my treatments were covered by my insurance.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates.
I paid for the sperm and I paid for the defrosting and prep of the sperm. I think that the sperm was about $750 a vial and the prep was $250. My insurance covered everything else.
10
Doctor
Rafat Abbasi
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Arlington
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2019, Unsuccessful
0
0
Age 40
2 IUI
Unexplained
European
Income $200K - $499K
Only Doc Seen
Doesn't Recommend
Doesn't Recommend
Unsuccessful
She [Dr. Abbaa Sarhan] spoke quickly and assumed we understood the process even though we were very new in our infertility journey...Our second IUI was triggered late with low estrogen for the existing follicles, had hcg in my system from a previous cycle, follicle on right was overcooked and left were not ready. We didn't receive calls when promised to receive pregnancy results...We didn't feel we had enough information to make informed decisions.
Since we were new in our fertility journey, we were in a vulnerable state. Our second IUI [at Columbia Fertility Associates] was triggered late with low estrogen for the existing follicles, had hcg in my system from a previous cycle, follicle on right was overcooked and left were not ready. We didn't receive calls when promised to receive pregnancy results and had to wait another 24 hours to receive results. We didn't have the information to get the HCG shot when we needed it for the trigger. We didn't feel we had enough information to make informed decisions.
How was your experience with Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
We had two IUI's and the nurse said she would facilitate the insemination and both times, it was another doctor who I've never met. Since we were new in our fertility journey, we were in a vulnerable state. Our second IUI was triggered late with low estrogen for the existing follicles, had hcg in my system from a previous cycle, follicle on right was overcooked and left were not ready. We didn't receive calls when promised to receive pregnancy results and had to wait another 24 hours to receive results. We didn't have the information to get the HCG shot when we needed it for the trigger. We didn't feel we had enough information to make informed decisions.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
She does mean well, however, the practices of this clinic are not acceptable. I would recommend to go to another clinic.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
She spoke quickly and assumed we understood the process even though we were very new in our infertility journey.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Columbia had a nurse shortage so we had to bounce around between clinics to facilitate our fertility cycle. It seemed as though the nurses were inconvenienced by us asking questions.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
Their strength is that you can go in for blood work from 7am to 9am so it can fit in your work schedule. The front desk nurse at Arlington is helpful. Be sure to ask lots of questions to the doctors and nurses.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates.
IUI's were around $1500 with no help from insurance.
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
  • Failed to call with results
  • Failed to order appropriate test
  • Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
  • Failed to convey critical information
  • Canceled a cycle due to clinic error
0
Doctor
Abbaa Sarhan
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
0
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Arlington
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2019, Unsuccessful
8
9
Age 43
European
Income $100K - $199K
5th of 5 Docs
Neutral
Strongly Recommends
Unsuccessful
She [Dr. Abbasi] knows her stuff regarding reproductive immunology.. I would highly recommend and trust her. She was willing to do immune testing on me even though i didn't do my ivf with her. She answers questions and seems to know her stuff... Get immune testing. She is experienced w that...I was frustrated recently when i did a mock cycle for an ERA and they [Columbia Fertility Associates] knew i did a trigger shot but still made me do an hcg test which came back positive.they said i was pregnant and cancelled my ERA. It was positive because i did a trigger
I was frustrated recently when i did a mock cycle for an ERA and they [Columbia Fertility Associates] knew i did a trigger shot but still made me do an hcg test which came back positive.they said i was pregnant and cancelled my ERA. It was positive because i did a trigger...She [Dr. Abbasi] knows her stuff regarding reproductive immunology.. I would highly recommend and trust her. She was willing to do immune testing on me even though i didn't do my ivf with her. She answers questions and seems to know her stuff
How was your experience with Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
She knows her stuff regarding reproductive immunology.. I would highly recommend and trust her. She was willing to do immune testing on me even though i didn't do my ivf with her. She answers questions and seems to know her stuff
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Get immune testing. She is experienced w that
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
She was very thorough
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
I was frustrated recently when i did a mock cycle for an ERA and they knew i did a trigger shot but still made me do an hcg test which came back positive.they said i was pregnant and cancelled my ERA. It was positive because i did a trigger
Describe the costs associated with your care under Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Consult was covered so far
8
Doctor
Rafat Abbasi
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
9
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Arlington
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2018, Unknown Success
8
8
Age 30
3 IUI
Unexplained
European
Income $100K - $199K
Operations
3rd of 3 Docs
Neutral
Neutral
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
Dr Abassi is incredibly knowledgeable and I feel like she is prescribing things specifically for my situation ... With her, I feel like my treatment is tailored. Now - the only thing is that she can come across as no-nonsense. I like it - I'm here for answers. But I can see that it could rub others the wrong way. ... I also think she is putting more effort into figuring out the cause of my unexplained infertility than other doctors, who just wanted to label it and jump straight into IUI and IVF with standard procedures.
Billing/financial counseling has been complicated - hard to get in touch with the financial counselor at my clinic [Columbia Fertility Associates], and I didn't get a fee sheet, errors in describing of fees, double-billing for the same service. The good news is that eventually it all worked out - but getting it all to be accurate has been hard. ... their morning monitoring hours start at 7:30. I usually arrive at 7:20 so I can be first in line - often nurses and office staff don't arrive until 7:35 and they take the first appointment at 7:45 (when the waiting room is really filling up).
How was your experience with Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr Abassi is completely trustworthy and knowledgeable - I totally trust her medical knowledge. I also think she is putting more effort into figuring out the cause of my unexplained infertility than other doctors, who just wanted to label it and jump straight into IUI and IVF with standard procedures. With her, I feel like my treatment is tailored. Now - the only thing is that she can come across as no-nonsense. I like it - I'm here for answers. But I can see that it could rub others the wrong way.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Bring all your medical records with you to your consultation - we went over them in detail and it was very helpful I had them all well organized in a binder. At times it was a bit like a pop quiz on different numbers and treatments.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr Abassi is incredibly knowledgeable and I feel like she is prescribing things specifically for my situation
Describe the protocols Rafat Abbasi used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
IUI - letrozole plus FSH, then trigger and progesterone suppositories. I ovulate on my own but the goal is to get multiple eggs to improve the chances.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia Fertility Associates. (Assigned nurse: Vanessia)
Nursing staff is great, very communicative, very in touch after bloodwork, etc
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
I love the doctors and nurses. Billing/financial counseling has been complicated - hard to get in touch with the financial counselor at my clinic, and I didn't get a fee sheet, errors in describing of fees, double-billing for the same service. The good news is that eventually it all worked out - but getting it all to be accurate has been hard.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates.
$1620 for IUI with letrozole, including everything except the baseline appt
Describe Rafat Abbasi's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia Fertility Associates.
n/a
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Lost paperwork
  • Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
In addition to billing issues I already described, their morning monitoring hours start at 7:30. I usually arrive at 7:20 so I can be first in line - often nurses and office staff don't arrive until 7:35 and they take the first appointment at 7:45 (when the waiting room is really filling up). Morning monitoring always takes a long time due to this!
8
Doctor
Rafat Abbasi
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
8
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Bethesda
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2004 - 2011, Successful
6
7
Age 43 - 50
4 IUI
Donor Sperm
PCOS
Income $200K - $499K
Consultant
Only Doc Seen
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral
Successful
Felt that Sacks ( who I love) still spent too much time looking at the numbers and not at ME...Sacks is caring but with me at least, was not as creative or thoughtful as he could have been. It took me three years to get pregnant and I felt more like he was following his standard playbook than thinking through what I really needed. I finally did some of my own research and after 3 years of trying, I suggested I should be on Metformin. Given my history of PCOS this seemed like an obvious choice and he was not especially receptive when I suggested it.
Staff [at Columbia Fertility] was outstanding - compassionate, thoughtful, clear, encouraging. fabulous...Sacks is caring but with me at least, was not as creative or thoughtful as he could have been. It took me three years to get pregnant and I felt more like he was following his standard playbook than thinking through what I really needed...Felt that Sacks ( who I love) still spent too much time looking at the numbers and not at ME.
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Sacks is caring but with me at least, was not as creative or thoughtful as he could have been. It took me three years to get pregnant and I felt more like he was following his standard playbook than thinking through what I really needed. I finally did some of my own research and after 3 years of trying, I suggested I should be on Metformin. Given my history of PCOS this seemed like an obvious choice and he was not especially receptive when I suggested it. But we did try it and I was pregnant within 6 weeks. A miracle!
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Push to see him directly (as opposed to just reviewing your data) and encourage him to review your chart beyond the numbers. I was just within the range of normal in several categories so he never identified me as a candidate for different treatment. But in retrospect, the aggregation of these data points created a very different picture when put all together.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
I eventually succeeded with a drug that I found through my own research. Felt that Sacks ( who I love) still spent too much time looking at the numbers and not at ME.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Staff was outstanding - compassionate, thoughtful, clear, encouraging. fabulous
6
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
7
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Bethesda
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2009 - 2012, Successful
10
10
Age 43 - 46
1 IUI
6 IVF
Donor Eggs
Uterine Fibroids
Immunological
Unexplained
European
Income $100K - $199K
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Dr. Abassi was trustworthy and compassionate, but straight to the point. She did not sugar-coat anything...She was compassionate. It's [Columbia Fertility Associates] a smaller clinic so it didn't feel like a factory. The doctor spent many visits talking to me and spending more time than expected.
It's [Columbia Fertility Associates] a smaller clinic so it didn't feel like a factory. The doctor spent many visits talking to me and spending more time than expected. Monitoring appointments were done early in the morning. I always tried to get there as early as possible so I wouldn't have to wait a long time. At times it was stressful if only 1 nurse was available.
How was your experience with Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Abassi was trustworthy and compassionate, but straight to the point. She did not sugar-coat anything. She made recommendations that ultimately resulted in a pregnancy. She was compassionate.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
She has your best interest at heart. She does not sugar coat anything.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Rafat Abbasi at Columbia Fertility Associates?
It's a smaller clinic so it didn't feel like a factory. The doctor spent many visits talking to me and spending more time than expected. They always returned calls and made suggestions for treatments.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
It was a small group and they listened and were attentive.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Monitoring appointments were done early in the morning. I always tried to get there as early as possible so I wouldn't have to wait a long time. At times it was stressful if only 1 nurse was available.
10
Doctor
Rafat Abbasi
Humanity
Communication
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Bethesda
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2017 - 2018, Unknown Success
8
8
Age 37 - 38
1 Egg Freezing
European
Income $0 - $49K
1st of 2 Docs
Neutral
Neutral
Success w/ Doc Not sure
I wish she had [Dr. Sarhan] expressed to me the urgency of going ahead with eggs freezing, because I ended up waiting a year and a half...I wish she had been more honest with me about how fertility works. She said. These are your test results right now, I can't guarantee you'll have the same numbers again in 6 months. I interpreted that to mean that my numbers might be the same in 6 months. But of course, quality and quantity go down with age, always. I wish she had expressed to me the urgency of going ahead with eggs freezing, because I ended up waiting a year and a half.
[Columbia Fertility Associates is] a small practice which I liked...I didn't go ahead with treatment...I found another clinic with cheaper prices...When I decided to switch clinics due to finding a better price, the admin staff were very slow in transferring my records to the new clinic. I liked the financial co sultans, who sat down with me for a good amount of time to discuss options...One of my blood tests didn't get AMH tested, so I had to get it tested again. I'm not sure if this was the clinic's fault or the lab's. I had to make several calls to get my records sent to my new clinic.
How was your experience with Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
I wish she had been more honest with me about how fertility works. She said. These are your test results right now, I can't guarantee you'll have the same numbers again in 6 months. I interpreted that to mean that my numbers might be the same in 6 months. But of course, quality and quantity go down with age, always. I wish she had expressed to me the urgency of going ahead with eggs freezing, because I ended up waiting a year and a half.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Nothing I can think of.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
It's a small practice which I liked. The doctor gave me her email for follow up questions.
Describe the protocols Abbaa Sarhan used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
I didn't go ahead with treatment with her because I found another clinic with cheaper prices.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
I didnt have much contact with the nursing staff since I just had a couple of consultations and diagnostics.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
When I decided to switch clinics due to finding a better price, the admin staff were very slow in transferring my records to the new clinic. I liked the financial co sultans, who sat down with me for a good amount of time to discuss options.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates.
My insurance covered the consultation and diagnostics. I then switched clinics for a better price.
Describe Abbaa Sarhan's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia Fertility Associates.
NA
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Lost paperwork
  • Failed to call with results
  • Failed to order appropriate test
  • Failed to send your chart to another clinic
  • Lost results
  • Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
One of my blood tests didn't get AMH tested, so I had to get it tested again. I'm not sure if this was the clinic's fault or the lab's. I had to make several calls to get my records sent to my new clinic.
8
Doctor
Abbaa Sarhan
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
8
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Bethesda
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2016 - 2020, Unsuccessful
10
9
Age 38 - 42
1 IUI
5 IVF
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
European
Income $50K - $99K
Teacher
1st of 2 Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Unsuccessful
Dr. Forman is like no other doctor. He truly cares about his patients and only wants what is best for them. Even though my second time around (trying to have a second child) has not been successful, I know he always had my best interest at heart. He goes above and beyond for his patients...He goes out of his way to check in on you and always available to answer questions...Ivf w injectables, ERA,...I often felt his team was disorganized sending my requisitions. If it happened once or 2x not a big deal, but out of 17 months of treatment maybe 40% of the time I had an issue.
I did outside monitoring and I often had issues getting my requisitions sent to the outside facility [from Columbia Fertility Associates]. Many times I was stuck there w/o a requisition. It caused a lot of additional stress to the process. I know it was not my drs fault, but I often felt his team was disorganized sending my requisitions. If it happened once or 2x not a big deal, but out of 17 months of treatment maybe 40% of the time I had an issue.
How was your experience with Eric Forman at Columbia Fertility Associates?
He is one of a kind. He is invested in you and your success. He only wants what is best. Not only is he brilliant, but kind and compassionate. He goes out of his way to check in on you and always available to answer questions.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Forman at Columbia Fertility Associates?
You are in the best hands.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Forman at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Forman is like no other doctor. He truly cares about his patients and only wants what is best for them. Even though my second time around (trying to have a second child) has not been successful, I know he always had my best interest at heart. He goes above and beyond for his patients.
Describe the protocols Eric Forman used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
Ivf w injectables, ERA,
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia Fertility Associates. (Assigned nurse: Christine Heblo)
My nurse was very positive, upbeat, and cheered me on.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
I did outside monitoring and I often had issues getting my requisitions sent to the outside facility. Many times I was stuck there w/o a requisition. It caused a lot of additional stress to the process. I know it was not my drs fault, but I often felt his team was disorganized sending my requisitions. If it happened once or 2x not a big deal, but out of 17 months of treatment maybe 40% of the time I had an issue.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Forman at Columbia Fertility Associates.
My insurance covered
10
Doctor
Eric Forman
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
9
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Bethesda
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2019 - 2020, Successful
10
10
Age 41 - 42
5 IUI
3 IVF
European
Income $200K - $499K
Business Executive
2nd of 2 Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Dr. Forman is awesome. He’s very responsive and always lets you know the possible outcomes. Obviously what Him and the embryologists do is incredible the science is there but there’s the parts they can’t control and he lets you know up front. He also lets you make your decisions without pressure but tells you his point of view. I trusted Dr Forman the whole step of the way and very grateful for him and all he’s done for us...always lets you know the possible outcomes. Obviously what Him and the embryologists do is incredible the science is there but there’s the parts they can’t control and he lets you know up front. He also lets you make your decisions without pressure but tells you his point of view. I trusted Dr Forman the whole step of the way and very grateful for him and all he’s done for us.
Christine [nurse at Columbia Fertility Associates] was amazing. Very patient, quick to respond and genuinely cared. Also all of the nurses that took my blood were the best. So gentle and caring...Retrieval cycle including PGS testing (not Transfer as insurance covered) around $14,000. Didn’t have to pay for monitoring as my insurance covered this as well...The office is beautiful. Doesn’t feel like a doctors office at all. At first I was worried that the costs would be much higher than other clinics but that’s not the case! The staff is wonderful. The nurses and all the doctors that I had the experience of dealing with. Nothing but positive things to say about Columbia!
How was your experience with Eric Forman at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Forman is awesome. He’s very responsive and always lets you know the possible outcomes. Obviously what Him and the embryologists do is incredible the science is there but there’s the parts they can’t control and he lets you know up front. He also lets you make your decisions without pressure but tells you his point of view. I trusted Dr Forman the whole step of the way and very grateful for him and all he’s done for us.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eric Forman at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Trust his judgment and take notes if you’re one that needs to know all the details!
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eric Forman at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Forman and his staff knew me and out conversations and appointments showed that. You can tell they truly care about their patients. When you go in for your retrieval and transfer it’s one room so one person at a time. You don’t feel like your in a hospital. Very different from my other clinic.
Describe the protocols Eric Forman used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
He changed my protocol after my first clinic wasn’t successful as I ovulated before they went in for retrieval. He used lupron micro flare along with follistim and menopour.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia Fertility Associates. (Assigned nurse: Christine Helbo )
Christine was amazing. Very patient, quick to respond and genuinely cared. Also all of the nurses that took my blood were the best. So gentle and caring.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
The office is beautiful. Doesn’t feel like a doctors office at all. At first I was worried that the costs would be much higher than other clinics but that’s not the case! The staff is wonderful. The nurses and all the doctors that I had the experience of dealing with. Nothing but positive things to say about Columbia!
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eric Forman at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Retrieval cycle including PGS testing (not Transfer as insurance covered) around $14,000. Didn’t have to pay for monitoring as my insurance covered this as well.
Describe Eric Forman's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia Fertility Associates.
N-a
10
Doctor
Eric Forman
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2018 - 2020, Unknown Success
10
10
Age 32 - 34
4 IUI
Unexplained
European
Ashkenazi Jewish
Income $200K - $499K
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
He [Dr. Preston Sacks] did a number of tests when I first started working with him to confirm I didn't have various fertility issues. Then after it was decided I had unexplained infertility, we moved to IUI...Very warm, personable. Remembers details about my work and background. Takes the time during consults to explain, but also talk about light things to ease my mind...I've really enjoyed being a patient of Dr. Sacks. He is warm, straightforward and optimistic about my chances of having a child. He has answered all my questions and taken us through what feels like a logical progression of fertility testing and treatments.
The nurses staff are mostly wonderful [at Columbia Fertility Associates]. They are supportive, organized, and kind. My one complaint is completely understanding the timing after I leave. Some nurses are much more thorough in calling and telling me all of my blood counts, when I should start clomid and when I should plan on coming back in. My guess is that they explain a lot of these things on a daily basis many times and sometimes forget whether they've explained the why behind a treatment or schedule to me. I think it's important for all patients to try to repeat back their understanding to help gain clarity.
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
I've really enjoyed being a patient of Dr. Sacks. He is warm, straightforward and optimistic about my chances of having a child. He has answered all my questions and taken us through what feels like a logical progression of fertility testing and treatments.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
No advice for Dr. Sacks. I have advice for the nurses.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Very warm, personable. Remembers details about my work and background. Takes the time during consults to explain, but also talk about light things to ease my mind.
Describe the protocols Preston Sacks used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
To be honest, I don't remember all the treatment strategies and protocols and I have been seeing him for over two years with a year break in between. He did a number of tests when I first started working with him to confirm I didn't have various fertility issues. Then after it was decided I had unexplained infertility, we moved to IUI. I go into the clinic when my period starts for blood work and a transvaginal ultrasound. Then I've started clomid shortly after, taken a trigger shot, and had an IUI. Still working with him.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The nurses staff are mostly wonderful. They are supportive, organized, and kind. My one complaint is completely understanding the timing after I leave. Some nurses are much more thorough in calling and telling me all of my blood counts, when I should start clomid and when I should plan on coming back in. My guess is that they explain a lot of these things on a daily basis many times and sometimes forget whether they've explained the why behind a treatment or schedule to me. I think it's important for all patients to try to repeat back their understanding to help gain clarity.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
I LOVE the woman who draws blood at this clinic. It doesn't hurt, she's so nice, and she's very efficient. If I just need to go in for bloodwork, I can be in and out in 5 minutes. The front desk staff are polite and I've also found the billing staff to be helpful and polite. There's also usually some parking available on the street, which is nice. And I appreciate that they open at 7:30 am so that I can go in for treatment before the workday starts. No need to sneak out at lunch from the office.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates.
An IUI without insurance costs $1,620 plus copay and medications.
10
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2019 - 2020, Unsuccessful
0
0
Age 37 - 38
1 IVF
European
Ashkenazi Jewish
Black or African-American
Income $200K - $499K
Only Doc Seen
Doesn't Recommend
Doesn't Recommend
Unsuccessful
[Dr. Safa Rifka] Dragged feet and wanted us to pay for IUI when IVF would have had higher indication of success considering both parents’ age. I had a complication after egg retrieval: no one checked in with me so I had to seek urgent care, and no one asked about how I was tolerating ovarian stimulation meds...I wish I had picked another doctor who could deign to be more informative and less paternalistic...One of the biggest failures was not assigning a triage schedule for handoffs because intervention is so time sensitive.
I had a complication after egg retrieval [at Columbia Fertility Associates]: no one checked in with me so I had to seek urgent care, and no one asked about how I was tolerating ovarian stimulation meds. I had a singular positive experience with one nurse who only works occasionally and offered assistance with triggering...The “lead nurse” was rude and uninformative. I had 2 positive interactions with nurses face to face in a year of having to deal with this office...Be prepared to demand confirmation of everything the billing and scheduling department does as there is little to no accountability. If you have the means to go somewhere else and can find another decent option in the metro area, then do so. Be sure to check CDC information for success rates.
How was your experience with Safa Rifka at Columbia Fertility Associates?
I wish I had picked another doctor who could deign to be more informative and less paternalistic. DC has a dearth of providers so I picked this clinic based on CDC live birth stats. One of the biggest failures was not assigning a triage schedule for handoffs because intervention is so time sensitive.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Safa Rifka at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Go to another practice if you have to cross state lines, or pick another physician—but you will still have to deal with the negligent office practices.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Safa Rifka at Columbia Fertility Associates?
The office staff is grossly incompetent and cannot even muster pretending to care, while the physicians seem to engage in willful blindness. The process is stressful enough, but the office sent billing to the wrong insurer multiple times compromising our PHI and delaying intervention, had my name wrong on a chart, forgot to order tests for my husband so he had to miss more work to come back, and had overall poor communication, excepting the phlebotomist. The dearth of information and transparency was astounding.
Describe the protocols Safa Rifka used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
Dragged feet and wanted us to pay for IUI when IVF would have had higher indication of success considering both parents’ age. I had a complication after egg retrieval: no one checked in with me so I had to seek urgent care, and no one asked about how I was tolerating ovarian stimulation meds. I had a singular positive experience with one nurse who only works occasionally and offered assistance with triggering.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia Fertility Associates. (Assigned nurse: Wendy)
The “lead nurse” was rude and uninformative. I had 2 positive interactions with nurses face to face in a year of having to deal with this office.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
This office is disorganized to the point of negligence and fraud. Be prepared to demand confirmation of everything the billing and scheduling department does as there is little to no accountability. If you have the means to go somewhere else and can find another decent option in the metro area, then do so. Be sure to check CDC information for success rates.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Safa Rifka at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Copays of about 3.5-4K
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Lost paperwork
  • Failed to order appropriate test
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
  • Failed to consider drug intolerance
  • Canceled a cycle due to clinic error
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
As I stated before, the office forgot to order a screening test for my husband on a panel—which requires checking a box. When all regular employees were out of the office they had no one accountable to reach a physician, delaying care. They continue to submit our PHI to the wrong insurance.
0
Doctor
Safa Rifka
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
0
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2018, Unknown Success
10
5
Age 36
2 IVF
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
European
Income $100K - $199K
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Doesn't Recommend
Success w/ Doc Not sure
He [Dr. Preston Sacks] was personable and friendly. I felt like we had a good relationship. I felt he listened to me, but sometimes I wasn't sure what the next step was and had to ask. He was easy to talk to during visits and was present for every one of them, which made it a little easier to come in... The backend administrative team is next to impossible to work with. Their financial team would call to harass me for payments, despite the fact that I had previously spoken to them to get further information about what I owed. They were impossible to get ahold of unless they called you, they wouldn't respond to or even check their emails, and typically didn't seem to know what was going on with your account.
The nursing staff [at Columbia Fertility Assoc-DC] was very hit or miss. Sometimes they were great -- there were one or two who were always helpful and trustworthy, but the weekend staff and the rest of the team seemed like they were completely overworked and under-resourced. It was sometimes painful having to deal with them and get appropriate information.
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
He was personable and friendly. I felt like we had a good relationship. I felt he listened to me, but sometimes I wasn't sure what the next step was and had to ask. He was easy to talk to during visits and was present for every one of them, which made it a little easier to come in
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Stay on top of your care and be honest with him. While I liked him as a doctor, the back end systems of his clinic are very messy and painful to work with at times.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sacks made time to talk with me and my husband. He addressed our concerns and had an easy and personable manner. He was mindful of the fact that our budget was limited. He was present for every single monitoring session I had with the exception of 2 or 3 when he was on vacation during part of one cycle.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia Fertility Associates. (Assigned nurse: Wendy)
The nursing staff was very hit or miss. Sometimes they were great -- there were one or two who were always helpful and trustworthy, but the weekend staff and the rest of the team seemed like they were completely overworked and under-resourced. It was sometimes painful having to deal with them and get appropriate information. One time I went in for monitoring on a Sunday morning and was told I needed to trigger that day. The weekend nurse (not my usual one) promised she would call in the trigger shot to the pharmacy by 10am and then call me (since the pharmacy closed early on Sunday). By noon I still had not heard from her and I was frantically trying to call the on call team to get a call back from her. When I finally got ahold of her, she had confused me with another patient who also needed a trigger shot and had completely forgotten to call in mine. It all worked out in the end and we got the shot with an hour to spare, but it added much unnecessary stress and had I not been proactive, we would have missed out window. This is just one example of how the nursing staff was not always able to adequately serve patients. I don't completely blame them, as they all seemed lovely and competent, they just seemed to be put into a difficult work situation that leaves the patient at risk.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
Dr. Sacks is great, but the clinic is a disaster. The backend administrative team is next to impossible to work with. Their financial team would call to harass me for payments, despite the fact that I had previously spoken to them to get further information about what I owed. They were impossible to get ahold of unless they called you, they wouldn't respond to or even check their emails, and typically didn't seem to know what was going on with your account. During my last cycle, I got a call asking to make a payment, and it seemed higher than what I was expecting, so I asked for an itemized invoice so that I could verify the charges. I was sent it and then responded to that email with questions, because it didn't look right. I also called the person back and left a voicemail. I sent a subsequent email to the same person two days later. When they finally called me one week later, they stated that they hadn't checked their email in that period of time and had no idea what my questions had been. It then took another few hours to work out and by the time I was done with paying for that last round I had decided I was also done with Columbia Fertility, despite the fact that I liked my doctor. Dealing with every other aspect of the clinic was just too stressful.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Usually a cattle call, would typically take anywhere from 20-45 minutes to get blood drawn and monitoring completed. Clinic seems understaffed and under-resourced.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Canceled cycle $2,000. Embryo Transfer approx $12,000, Egg Retrieval $10,000+
Describe Preston Sacks's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Dr. Sacks was open to whichever we wanted and had an appropriate conversation with us about our options.
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
  • Lost paperwork
  • Failed to call with results
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The backend admin of this clinic is a nightmare. Its unfortunate because Dr. Sacks is great, but its very hard to work with the rest of his team. It seems like this this clinic is severely under-resourced and mis-managed no matter how good their doctors are. It needs some serious management changes.
10
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
5
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2009 - 2018, Unknown Success
9
8
Age 26 - 35
3 Fertility Medications
Anovulation
Male Factor
PCOS
Uterine Fibroids
Black or African-American
Income $100K - $199K
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Neutral
Success w/ Doc Not sure
I started with Preston Sacks prior to TTC. He was always forthcoming with results and painted clear pictures of the obstacles to come. He is very easy to talk to and was very responsive to emails. Early on he determined that the issue was a male factor and referred us to one of his colleagues. He even took the time to set expectations on what to expect when working with the specialist which was extremely comforting.
All of my issues are with the finance department [at Columbia-DC]. The are extremely unorganized and seem to be all over the place. On several occasions I was told to expect a call back and did not receive one for days at a time. After following up myself, I would find out there was no action done. It's extremely frustrating when you're paying for a portion or all of your procedures and still have to deal with rude people.
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
I started with Preston Sacks prior to TTC. He was always forthcoming with results and painted clear pictures of the obstacles to come. He is very easy to talk to and was very responsive to emails. Early on he determined that the issue was a male factor and referred us to one of his colleagues. He even took the time to set expectations on what to expect when working with the specialist which was extremely comforting. When dealing with infertility, having information is very important as it reduces anxiety regarding the unknown. He was very thoughtful and honest at ever step.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Even if you think they are silly.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
He was always open to listen to my concerns and answer any questions I have. He thoroughly explained every step of the process
Describe the protocols Preston Sacks used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
We used clomid and timed intercourse for 3 cycles. When I didn't respond to clomid he used the step up method. After the 3 cycle, he ordered an SA for my husband. Upon the results he suggested IVF. Due to insurance/money issues we took a break.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The nurses that I encountered were extremely nice with perfect bedside manner. Even when they called to say the pregnancy test were negative they were very gentle. These ladies are gems.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
The billing department is HORRIBLE. They have no problem informing you of a balance, yet are extremely slow providing information or answering questions. On several occasions I've had to follow up as well as get very stern. I'm not sure if they are understaffed or not good at their jobs. There are 2 women in particular I try to avoid at all cost. They are very brash and have somewhat of an attitude.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Competitive compared to other clinics
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
All of my issues are with the finance department. The are extremely unorganized and seem to be all over the place. On several occasions I was told to expect a call back and did not receive one for days at a time. After following up myself, I would find out there was no action done. It's extremely frustrating when you're paying for a portion or all of your procedures and still have to deal with rude people.
9
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
8
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2016 - 2018, Successful
10
8
Age 32 - 34
3 IVF
Endometriosis
Poor Egg Quality
South Asian
Income $200K - $499K
Engineer
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Neutral
Successful
Dr. Sarhan had a warm manner, performed most of my monitoring ultrasounds herself, was attentive during our conversations, answered all my questions, was easy to reach and called me regularly..... Sarhan was wonderful. She knew the science/medicine and knew my case intimately well, plus she had wonderful bedside manner. I felt I could trust her... She recommended against fresh transfer due to the endometriosis.
The small team at the Arlington is great. The DC clinic is not as organized or compassionate. Also, the administrative system at this clinic overall is a bit of a mess. The admins can be rude in person and over the phone. The billing department is also disorganized and often rude...I loved nurse Kalandria and the nursing staff overall at the Arlington clinic. The nurses at the DC clinic were not as compassionate.
How was your experience with Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sarhan was wonderful. She knew the science/medicine and knew my case intimately well, plus she had wonderful bedside manner. I felt I could trust her. The proof is in the pudding - thanks to her, I had a successful pregnancy.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Find out the days she will be at your clinic (in my case it was Tuesdays and Thursdays in Arlington) and arrange your work schedule to be available those days for all monitoring. You will get a ton of face time with her.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sarhan had a warm manner, performed most of my monitoring ultrasounds herself, was attentive during our conversations, answered all my questions, was easy to reach and called me regularly.
Describe the protocols Abbaa Sarhan used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
We used the antagonist protocol for each freeze-all retrieval. I had endometriosis so Dr. Sarhan had me suppress with birth control pills for 6-8 weeks before each frozen embryo transfer. She recommended against fresh transfer due to the endometriosis. It took me three retrievals and three transfers to achieve a successful pregnancy/live birth.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia Fertility Associates. (Assigned nurse: Kalandria Waddy)
I loved nurse Kalandria and the nursing staff overall at the Arlington clinic. The nurses at the DC clinic were not as compassionate.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
The small team at the Arlington is great. The DC clinic is not as organized or compassionate. Also, the administrative system at this clinic overall is a bit of a mess. The admins can be rude in person and over the phone. The billing department is also disorganized and often rude.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The ‘monitoring hours’ system made t super efficient - I was in and out quickly.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Abbaa Sarhan at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Insurance covered everything, so I don’t know.
Describe Abbaa Sarhan's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia Fertility Associates.
We only transferred single embryos until the third FET, when she recommended increasing to two embryos.
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
I had to email the nurse coordinator for clarification a couple times.
10
Doctor
Abbaa Sarhan
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
8
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
LGBTQ
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2014 - 2017, Successful
10
10
Age 31 - 34
12 IUI
1 IVF
Donor Sperm
Tubal Blockage
Unexplained
European
Ashkenazi Jewish
Income $100K - $199K
Consultant
2nd of 2 Docs
LGBTQ
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
He's [Dr. Preston Sacks] very chatty and personable, which helped put me at ease during a number of procedures. One example: Before my egg retrieval, the nurse had trouble getting the IV started and I ended up passing out. I was very nervous about whether it would affect what happened that day, but he came in and immediately put me at ease, shared stories about himself passing out, etc.! He also remembered personal details about me in a really thoughtful way that I think went above and beyond.
The nurses at CFA are wonderful! I've been with them long enough that the nursing staff has changed, but everyone I've interacted with has been so helpful and compassionate. Some are responsive over email, though not all. But they have been extremely helpful at all stages of the process -- whether figuring out prescriptions, helping me get seen "off schedule" or rushing some blood work, or generally being understanding and compassionate and reassuring and friendly. I really feel like they are pulling for me and know me as an individual.
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
I have been very happy with Dr. Sacks. He's been doing this a long time and really knows his stuff and knows the latest research, etc. He's always very responsive over email, which I really appreciate. And I have felt like overall he does a good job of balancing being realistic with being gentle. Like most fertility doctors, he's not overly emotional or super outwardly compassionate, but I always felt like he cared (he wasn't harsh) and also like he was telling me how it is (not sugar coating). He's often hesitant to give specific chances/percentages, but when he has them, he shares them. There have been a couple times where I wondered why he didn't suggest or say something different, but overall I have been very happy. He also has a really good, calming bedside manner. He's very chatty and personable, which helped put me at ease during a number of procedures. One example: Before my egg retrieval, the nurse had trouble getting the IV started and I ended up passing out. I was very nervous about whether it would affect what happened that day, but he came in and immediately put me at ease, shared stories about himself passing out, etc.! He also remembered personal details about me in a really thoughtful way that I think went above and beyond.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Be prepared for the fact that he's very chatty :)
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sacks and everyone at Columbia Fertility always made me feel like an individual. He (and they) always knew my name, remembered personal details about me (in a comforting, not creepy way) and I always felt like they were giving me advice based on who I was, not some standard. Dr. Sacks is very responsive over email and is very personable.
Describe the protocols Preston Sacks used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
In summary: 6 natural IUIs with donor sperm; 1 cycle with Clomid where I had the bad side effect that affected my vision; 5 IUI cycles with Letrozole. That included an ectopic pregnancy (after an HSG test) and ultimately doing another HSG test and finding a blocked tube (likely from the ectopic). Then moved to IVF and egg retrieval followed by PGS/PGD. Resulted in two embryos. First resulted in a miscarriage. After that, did a bunch of tests via bloodwork to rule out immunological issues. As of this writing, six weeks pregnant from second FET.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The nurses at CFA are wonderful! I've been with them long enough that the nursing staff has changed, but everyone I've interacted with has been so helpful and compassionate. Some are responsive over email, though not all. But they have been extremely helpful at all stages of the process -- whether figuring out prescriptions, helping me get seen "off schedule" or rushing some blood work, or generally being understanding and compassionate and reassuring and friendly. I really feel like they are pulling for me and know me as an individual.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
Overall, I've been very happy with CFA and feel like I get much more personalized care and treatment than I hear about people getting with Shady Grove.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Monitoring is done between 7:30-9:30 and generally I found it to be pretty efficient. Some days I'd be out of there in 5 minutes, if all I needed was blood work and there weren't many people there. Other days, it might be more like 30 minutes or so, if it was more crowded and I needed blood work and a sonogram.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates.
I did not have insurance coverage so it was very expensive. Natural IUIs were $500. Monitored IUIs were $1,000. Medicated IUIs were $1,500. IVF with FET was about $18,000 not including medication or the PGD testing, which added about $2,000. Just the FET was $3,500.
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
No, not really. I think just once I got slightly different information from a nurse and then a doctor about what the plan was for when I would come back to the office and what the protocol would be. It wasn't a huge deal.
10
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2006 - 2017, Unknown Success
8
8
Age 22 - 33
3 IUI
PCOS
European
Income $200K - $499K
Only Doc Seen
Neutral
Neutral
Success w/ Doc Too early to know
Dr. Sacks diagnosed me with PCOS approximately 10 years ago. He treated my PCOS with metformin and later birth control pills....Dr. Sacks is extremely knowledgeable and is able to speak to current literature and studies clearly while taking your individual situation into account. Dr. Sacks is always on time and addresses any questions you ask, though during standard monitoring appointments, his time is somewhat short. For consultations, he will take all the time necessary...Be prepared with questions you want to ask him...
Columbia Fertility sees a high volume of patients. They are efficient in seeing all patients, particularly during routine blood tests and sonograms. The front office staff and nurses are friendly and helpful...The nursing staff are capable and compassionate. Columbia Fertility has a variety of nurses who all participate in your care...I occasionally had miscommunication about scheduling of my appointments. However, given that Columbia Fertility has flexible morning hours, the office staff was able to fit me in without a problem.
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sacks is extremely knowledgeable and is able to speak to current literature and studies clearly while taking your individual situation into account. Dr. Sacks is always on time and addresses any questions you ask, though during standard monitoring appointments, his time is somewhat short. For consultations, he will take all the time necessary.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Be prepared with questions you want to ask him
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Columbia Fertility sees a high volume of patients. They are efficient in seeing all patients, particularly during routine blood tests and sonograms. The front office staff and nurses are friendly and helpful.
Describe the protocols Preston Sacks used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
Dr. Sacks diagnosed me with PCOS approximately 10 years ago. He treated my PCOS with metformin and later birth control pills. When trying to conceive, I completed approximately 12 months of treatment with clomid while monitoring my cycles, Dr. Sacks recommending clomid for PCOS treatment. For most of those cycles, I also utilized ovidrel to trigger ovulation. At the end of approximately 1 year, Dr. Sacks conducted a laparoscopy and recommended we proceed with IUI. Following this, I complete IUI, again using clomid and ovidrel. To date, all cycles have resulted in negative pregnancy tests.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The nursing staff are capable and compassionate. Columbia Fertility has a variety of nurses who all participate in your care.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
Columbia Fertility is a high volume operation, but they are efficient, responsive, and on time with knowledgeable practitioners, reasonably friendly office staff, and friendly and capable nurses.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates.
IUI was partially covered by my insurance, so that cost was $500 per cycle plus approximately $85 for ovidrel.
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Failed to call with results
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
I occasionally had miscommunication about scheduling of my appointments. However, given that Columbia Fertility has flexible morning hours, the office staff was able to fit me in without a problem.
8
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
8
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2017, Unsuccessful
10
10
Age 34
3 IUI
2 IVF
Unexplained
European
Income $200K - $499K
2nd of 2 Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Unsuccessful
While we're still in the midst of our treatment and have had several setbacks, including a recent miscarriage, Dr. Sacks has been empathetic and present throughout our entire time with him. He's always done our exams; our procedures; and been responsive to our emails/calls. After a very negative experience at another doctor's office, I have nothing bad to say about Dr. Sacks or his team.
My only complaint about Columbia has been their billing--there are some times that they ask for my co-pay, other times that they don't, and we get billed for three or four visits at a time, which can be frustrating...[Nurse] Heather is amazing--she's warm, positive, and always responsive. She has been a great resource over the course of our treatments...Dr. sacks is very empathetic--very patient and answered all our questions. When he delivered good or bad news, we've gotten it all, he was always responsive and always was the one we heard from.
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
While we're still in the midst of our treatment and have had several setbacks, including a recent miscarriage, Dr. Sacks has been empathetic and present throughout our entire time with him. He's always done our exams; our procedures; and been responsive to our emails/calls. After a very negative experience at another doctor's office, I have nothing bad to say about Dr. Sacks or his team.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Come prepared with what you want to know, questions/concerns/etc.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. sacks is very empathetic--very patient and answered all our questions. When he delivered good or bad news, we've gotten it all, he was always responsive and always was the one we heard from.
Describe the protocols Preston Sacks used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
for IVF: I was on 150 mL of Gonal F and 150 of Menopur (plus ganirelix) to stop ovulation. The first cycle, none of my embryos made it to blastocyst. Second cycle, Dr. Sacks didn't change my treatment (he said that he was happy with our response, so hopefully, we'd get a different batch of embryos) We got 10 embryos--3 made it to blastocyst--and after PGS, we got two back One was transferred, which subsequently ended in a miscarriage.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia Fertility Associates. (Assigned nurse: Heather)
Heather is amazing--she's warm, positive, and always responsive. She has been a great resource over the course of our treatments.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
My only complaint about Columbia has been their billing--there are some times that they ask for my co-pay, other times that they don't, and we get billed for three or four visits at a time, which can be frustrating.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
I found the experience to be efficient...I can get in and out in less than 30 minutes in the morning, before even going to work.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates.
I couldn't tell with you with certainty--some things our insurance covered...we paid for drugs out of pocket, to save on our lifetime insurance maximum.
Describe Preston Sacks's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia Fertility Associates.
We asked Dr. Sacks for his recommendation--and he said one. So we went with one. He talked us through the risks of both.
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
  • Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
I had one nurse tell me conflicting information about when to start my protocol--called Dr. Sacks to confirm and within 2 minutes, had the right answer. Another time, one of the other nurses forgot to call in a prescription to CVS, but they fixed the issue in a few hours.
10
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2016, 2 Eggs Frozen
8
9
Age 32
1 Egg Freezing
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Ashkenazi Jewish
Income $100K - $199K
Marketer or PR
Only Doc Seen
Neutral
Strongly Recommends
Success w/ Doc Not sure
Dr. Sacks takes his time to explain answers to all of my questions. I found the most benefit from this during our consultations. When doing quick sonograms or blood tests, I did feel the time crunch but Dr. Sacks always answered me thoughtfully and honestly. He has a nice bedside manner and does make you feel like he cares... He has always been patient and willing to explain procedures and outcomes in great detail. Dr. Sacks always has a good bedside manner and is very kind and friendly...
Strengths [at Columbia Fertility Associates - Washington DC]: Appointments always on time, front desk staff is nice, clinic is convenient to downtown area of DC. Weaknesses: The finance department is one woman who is quite nice, but I've found over 3 errors in our financial communications when first starting out on round 1. I would love if it was standard procedure to tell patients their test results each time on voicemail or email. It felt like I was bothering them to ask for it...
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Weakness: I feel that Dr. Sacks could have better explained my initial test results and what that meant for my likelihood to produce low # of eggs with stim meds. I did most of this research on my own but know he could have prepared me for the less than optimal results BEFORE choosing treatment. Strengths: Dr. Sacks is clearly an expert in what he does and is more than capable of answering the most complex questions. He has always been patient and willing to explain procedures and outcomes in great detail. Dr. Sacks always has a good bedside manner and is very kind and friendly.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
To ask for detailed explanation of test results and what he will be looking for in continuous testing before and during rounds of treatment. He has the answers, there is just so much to cover to coming prepared with pointed questions is helpful.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sacks takes his time to explain answers to all of my questions. I found the most benefit from this during our consultations. When doing quick sonograms or blood tests, I did feel the time crunch but Dr. Sacks always answered me thoughtfully and honestly. He has a nice bedside manner and does make you feel like he cares.
Describe the protocols Preston Sacks used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
First round of stim meds for egg freezing was 300 IU of menopur. I only needed one ganorelix shot before retrieval as I ended up on the menopur for longer than expected - 13 days.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The service provided by nursing staff varied quite a bit. In person, most are pleasant and helpful. However, I find myself regularly asking for them to leave my test results on email or phone, only to get a call with instructions for next steps and no context. As someone who like to always know all of the information, this was frustrating. I was also originally assigned to one specific nurse for questions but found she didn't always respond and in person did not have great bedside manner. I do with there was one nurse per physician to handle questions/follow up, or at the very least, pass along communications better. Lastly, there were a few instances where I know the nurse had not looked at my chart before answering questions and then would adjust her response/suggestion accordingly. This was only a few times, but there is room for improvement on patient-nurse connection.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
Strengths: Appointments always on time, front desk staff is nice, clinic is convenient to downtown area of DC. Weaknesses: The finance department is one woman who is quite nice, but I've found over 3 errors in our financial communications when first starting out on round 1. I would love if it was standard procedure to tell patients their test results each time on voicemail or email. It felt like I was bothering them to ask for it.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Very efficient monitoring appointments. Even when it seemed crowded, their system is optimized for quick visits to get you out the door. I also like that the time frame is early morning so we aren't forced to miss work.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates.
First found of egg freezing was about $8,300 plus the cost of meds. Second round is a little lower to account for freezing cost already covered, about $7500. The third round (not yet completed) will be free besides cost of anesthesia ($500) and meds. This is part of a "buy 2, get one free" egg freezing package.
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Failed to call with results
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
As mentioned, if I request the results, I would like those to be told to me. I have to ask every time!! There were two instances where I had to write back and ask for exact numbers of blood work.
8
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
9
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2015 - 2016, Successful
10
7
Age 37 - 38
8 IUI
1 IVF
Donor Sperm
Uterine Fibroids
Unexplained
European
South Asian
Latinx
Black or African-American
Other
Income $100K - $199K
Writer
2nd of 2 Docs
Strongly Recommends
Neutral
Successful
Dr. Sacks personally responded to my emails and phone calls and was always available for appointments. I only met with nurses and other support staff after discussing my care directly with Dr. Sacks... Dr. Sacks recommended a conservative approach.... He worked closely with me to develop a treatment plan and communicated every step in language I could understand. He gave his opinion frankly, but was kind and supportive.
As mentioned before, the nursing team [at Columbia] could be more professional and better trained. Thankfully, Dr. Sacks was easily accessible and perhaps aware of the nursing staff's deficiencies, so my care did not suffer, but the staff should be reliable as they interact closely with patients...It did not feel like a cattle call. There were other patients present in the waiting room, obviously, but I never felt rushed.
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sacks has an excellent bedside manner and treats patients as if he is personally invested in their well-being and success. He worked closely with me to develop a treatment plan and communicated every step in language I could understand. He gave his opinion frankly, but was kind and supportive.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Be honest and open to honesty
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sacks personally responded to my emails and phone calls and was always available for appointments. I only met with nurses and other support staff after discussing my care directly with Dr. Sacks. Any problems I had were resolved personally by Dr. Sacks. I never felt like a number or just another patient. He has an excellent bedside manner and treats patients as if he is personally invested in their well-being and success.
Describe the protocols Preston Sacks used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
Because of my favorable initial testing, Dr. Sacks recommended a conservative approach. We began with unmedicated IUIs (3 chemical pregnancies, 3 negative tests) and progressed to IVF--for insurance coverage reasons--with low-dose medications (9 eggs retrieved, 7 fertilized, 4 frozen embryos, eSET) which resulted in a chemical pregnancy. Dr. Sacks helped me overcome my reluctance to medicated IUIs (1 negative, 1 positive), the second of which resulted in a vanishing twin and birth of a singleton.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia Fertility Associates. (Assigned nurse: Julianna)
I had a mixed experience. Care was far from terrible, but I often had to go directly to Dr. Sacks for confirmation and follow up of details as communication from the nursing staff was inconsistent and sometimes inaccurate. One of the nurses in particular was not well informed and almost caused me to cancel a cycle unnecessarily.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
As mentioned before, the nursing team could be more professional and better trained. Thankfully, Dr. Sacks was easily accessible and perhaps aware of the nursing staff's deficiencies, so my care did not suffer, but the staff should be reliable as they interact closely with patients.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
It did not feel like a cattle call. There were other patients present in the waiting room, obviously, but I never felt rushed.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates.
About $16,000 in totol
Describe Preston Sacks's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Because of my strong aversion to having twins, Dr. Sacks advised an eSET, which proved to be the right choice as I still conceived twins (one vanishing at 8 weeks).
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Provided conflicting information
  • Failed to convey critical information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
As mentioned, I had to go directly to Dr. Sacks on a few occasions as the information conveyed by nurses was inaccurate or incomplete. There was one occasion when a nurse attempted to act unilaterally and it was only through my close interaction with Dr. Sacks that I was able to keep my treatment on course.
10
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Compassion
Adaptability
7
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2014 - 2016, Successful
10
10
Age 33 - 35
6 IUI
2 IVF
PCOS
European
Ashkenazi Jewish
Income $200K - $499K
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
Dr. Sacks was incredibly warm, concerned with our personal circumstances, straight with us in terms of managing our expectations but also helping us remain hopeful and not worry unnecessarily. He ALWAYS took the time to answe my questions thoroughly and also was extremely responsive by email the few times I had urgent concerns or questions...Dr. Sacks was incredibly warm, concerned with our personal circumstances, straight with us in terms of managing our expectations but also helping us remain hopeful and not worry unnecessarily. He ALWAYS took the time to answe my questions thoroughly and also was extremely responsive by email the few times I had urgent concerns or questions.
[Columbia - DC] Strengths -- more personable compared to larger clinics, excellent doctor, mostly great nurses, high frequency of seeing doctors, responsiveness of doctor and nurses by email, choir follow up / communicating test results and answering questions Weaknesses -- billing team is at times disorganized, difficult to contact to resolve question or their errors, and sometimes callous (calling to demand late peymebt even though bills were not mailed)
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
I can't recommend him highly enough. Dr. Sacks was extremely caring and thorough. He is very knowledgeable on all subjects related to fertility and was able to help us understand what was known by science and not known by science related to our particular circumstances. Sometimes he felt rushed at non critical visits, but if I initiated he was always available to answer questions. When it came time to handling difficult times/news with us, he was always patient and caring. Dr. Sacks also helped us avoid unnecessary procedures by helping us weigh the pros and cons of different options. I am so grateful that he was our doctor.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Be sure to ask all of your questions. He may seem rushed at times at routine visits (e.g. Ultrasounds) if the schedule is backed up, but he will always provide valuable answers to your questions. Also, he's very responsive by email.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sacks was incredibly warm, concerned with our personal circumstances, straight with us in terms of managing our expectations but also helping us remain hopeful and not worry unnecessarily. He ALWAYS took the time to answe my questions thoroughly and also was extremely responsive by email the few times I had urgent concerns or questions. Dr. Sacks also took time out of his very busy schedule to attended the Bris of our son. He honestly came to feel like part of our family. We were definitely not numbers to him!
Describe the protocols Preston Sacks used in your cycles at Columbia Fertility Associates and their degree of success.
I started with Climid, then the off-label breast cancer drug (can't remember the name) combined with six IUIs, then two fresh IVF cycles. My first IVF cycle none of the eggs fertilized properly (initial failure then ICSI after 24 hours but none implanted). The second IVF cycle we did ICSI and had 7 embryos, one of which we implanted and gave us our beautiful baby boy! (I have PCOS but it seems, perhaps, that the issue was the egg-sperm interaction).
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
There was some variability with the bedside manor of the nurses. One in particular was extremely caring from the beginning. The others were better once my treatment got further along in the process (more intensive treatment). A few didn't study my chart carefully before talking with me, which I found annoying and also at time upsetting depending on the confusion. However, by in large the nursing care was good.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
Strengths -- more personable compared to larger clinics, excellent doctor, mostly great nurses, high frequency of seeing doctors, responsiveness of doctor and nurses by email, choir follow up / communicating test results and answering questions Weaknesses -- billing team is at times disorganized, difficult to contact to resolve question or their errors, and sometimes callous (calling to demand late peymebt even though bills were not mailed)
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The early ones were strssful for me when I was new and leaning the system, and only one nurse seemed sensitive to this. Once I got the drill down, the monitoring visits were fine.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates.
We had Fertility treatments covered by insurance, so it was the cost of the premium (I opened a secondary plan to cover IVF), copays, and some of the drugs for IUI
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The billing team billed insurance for a seventh IUI that I didn't have and was very unhelpful/rude in resolving the problem. I had to get the head nurse involve to help me fight with them, which ultimately worked. In the meantime I got a FRANTIC call from someone helping the billing team demanding that I give my credit card number to pay a thousand dollar bill or i would be sent to collections, even though I had not been sent a bill (by that time I was pregnant and no longer coming in to the clinic). They did a similar thing with my husband even though the error was on their side (he had requested sperm disposal and paid the remaining bill but their system didn't show it). The errors wouldn't be such an issue if their main billing person, Kim, was more responsive or less rude.
10
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2012 - 2016, Unsuccessful
7
7
Age 32 - 36
2 IUI
2 IVF
Unexplained
Ashkenazi Jewish
Income $100K - $199K
Marketer or PR
2nd of 2 Docs
Neutral
Neutral
Unsuccessful
Dr. Sacks has a very nice beside manner. He takes the time, particularly at the beginning, to make you feel comfortable. As you go in for more and more ultrasounds, he spends less time with you, but he is always kind...On my second round of IVF, Dr. Sacks used the same protocol and medicine for me, although I was four years older, and now over 35. That resulted in only one usable embryo, and I wished that he would have changed the protocol to accommodate for changes in my eggs and body. That transfer did not work, and as we were paying out of pocket for that round, we are not able to try again.
The office [Columbia Fertility Associates] is decently run, but be careful if you're paying out of pocket. My insurance didn't cover IVF, so I paid out of pocket for the full IVF procedure. That included blood tests and other monitoring. However, I found that the clinic was also charging my insurance company for all of these tests. I had to ask several times for them to remove the charges to my insurance company, or pay me back for those tests. They eventually pulled the charges from my insurer. The woman who does the blood tests during the week is all business, but remember that she's taking blood for several hours a day, so be nice and you'll eventually get her to crack a smile.
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
I really enjoyed working with Dr. Sacks. He even responded to emails and followed up with me when I had complaints about his staff. My first two transfers with him resulted in pregnancies, and we would have had two children now, but I had a rare occurrence of amniotic band syndrome in the 12th week of my first pregnancy that resulted in the internal amputation of the baby's arms and a portion of its skull, which likely would have resulted in a miscarriage later in the pregnancy or a child who could not survive outside of the womb. For those reasons, we decided to end that pregnancy. On my second round of IVF, Dr. Sacks used the same protocol and medicine for me, although I was four years older, and now over 35. That resulted in only one usable embryo, and I wished that he would have changed the protocol to accommodate for changes in my eggs and body. That transfer did not work, and as we were paying out of pocket for that round, we are not able to try again.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Ask as many questions as you need. Never feel like you can't reach out to Dr. Sacks with questions. If you want a doctor with a very gentle and lovely bedside manner, Dr. Sacks is a good bet.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sacks has a very nice beside manner. He takes the time, particularly at the beginning, to make you feel comfortable. As you go in for more and more ultrasounds, he spends less time with you, but he is always kind.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Nurses were occasionally helpful, but seemed more interested in getting in and out of the room. I was very disappointed that after the loss of our first baby at 12 weeks, the nursing team called at the baby's due date to ask for information for their statistics. They were made aware that we had to terminate the pregnancy and a phone call at the due date was extremely upsetting.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
The office is decently run, but be careful if you're paying out of pocket. My insurance didn't cover IVF, so I paid out of pocket for the full IVF procedure. That included blood tests and other monitoring. However, I found that the clinic was also charging my insurance company for all of these tests. I had to ask several times for them to remove the charges to my insurance company, or pay me back for those tests. They eventually pulled the charges from my insurer. The woman who does the blood tests during the week is all business, but remember that she's taking blood for several hours a day, so be nice and you'll eventually get her to crack a smile.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The monitoring appointments were a bit of a cattle call. Earlier in the morning took longer. But this was fine for me because I couldn't guarantee I would be there on time if I had a specific appointment time.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates.
$10k for IVF, another $2k for ICSI, ~$2,400 for freezing, plus medication
Describe Preston Sacks's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia Fertility Associates.
The doctor asked what we were comfortable with -- would we be OK with twins? When i expressed that my husband was terrified of twins, he said he would only do one embryo at a time. It seems like he would not do more than two at a time.
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Failed to call with results
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
When my third transfer resulted in a period before I could come in to test (I was traveling), I called to ask if I should still come in. They said I should come in when I got back from vacation. I did go in and they tested my blood with the idea that they would call and confirm that I was not pregnant and my HCG levels were back to normal. I never received a call. I called the clinic to see if they could tell me the results and they never called back. I had to email the doctor to get him to get the nurses on the ball and have them review their procedures.
7
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
7
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
Verified

This patient has provided documentation of treatment at this clinic.

2011 - 2015, Successful
10
10
Age 38 - 42
1 IUI
6 IVF
6 Egg Freezing
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
Poor Egg Quality
Ashkenazi Jewish
Income $200K - $499K
Investor
Only Doc Seen
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
We came to Dr. Sacks after our third 10 week miscarriage within 20 months. He listened to our history and spent hours discussing options and treatment... He remained engaged, thoughtful, and empathetic throughout the next 6 cycles of IVF to retrieve eggs and create enough embryos to test via PGD. He discussed every step in detail; shared studies; and introduced me to my therapist - we even laughed along the way.
Washington Fertility Associates - the clinic - is a bit chaotic and you must actively manage your care - but it's all worth it for Dr. Sacks!! The nurses that work directly with Dr. Sacks both in the examination room and in the procedure theater are great - compassionate, helpful, knowledgeable. Unfortunately, when it comes to ordering your meds, tracking your bills, and basic information the nurse coordinator and the financial coordinator must be heavily managed.
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
See earlier comment
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
He is incredibly knowledgeable and up to date with the latest research; therefore I would not hesitate to engage him and ask as many questions as necessary to make you feel comfortable.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sacks is fantastic! We received and currently receive first rate care. We came to Dr. Sacks after our third 10 week miscarriage within 20 months. He listened to our history and spent hours discussing options and treatment. Due to insurance, we had to try an IUI prior to moving to IVF, although we knew it was an egg quality (chromosomal) issue. Dr. Sacks negotiated the insurance down from 3 to 1 IUI. However, 21 weeks into the pregnancy, the amnio revealed fatal chromosomal abnormalities. We made the decision to end the pregnancy. After that horrific experience, Dr. Sacks was simply amazing! He remained engaged, thoughtful, and empathetic throughout the next 6 cycles of IVF to retrieve eggs and create enough embryos to test via PGD. He discussed every step in detail; shared studies; and introduced me to my therapist - we even laughed along the way. We now have a 7 month old incredible little girl and are just about to return to transfer one of the two male embryos we have frozen. Washington Fertility Associates - the clinic - is a bit chaotic and you must actively manage your care - but it's all worth it for Dr. Sacks!!
Describe your experience with your nurse at Columbia Fertility Associates. (Assigned nurse: Wendy Hemingway)
The nurses that work directly with Dr. Sacks both in the examination room and in the procedure theater are great - compassionate, helpful, knowledgeable. Unfortunately, when it comes to ordering your meds, tracking your bills, and basic information the nurse coordinator and the financial coordinator must be heavily managed.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Monitoring is easy - everyday from 730-900 and the wait is not that long.
What specific things went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates?
  • Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
  • Failed to order appropriate test
  • Failed to send your chart to another clinic
  • Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
  • Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Most of the issues are specifically related to the nurse coordinator; therefore as long as you are your own advocate and on top of your protocol, this clinic will be great since Dr. Sacks and the rest of the nursing staff is fantastic!
10
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources
2012 - 2015, Successful
10
10
Age 32 - 35
1 IUI
1 IVF
Male Factor
Ashkenazi Jewish
Income $100K - $199K
2nd of 2 Docs
Strongly Recommends
Strongly Recommends
Successful
I want lots of clear information about process and pros and cons of any options, to help me make decisions. Dr Sacks took tons of time to explain all of the treatment options we had to choose from, why he recommended IVF over IUI and what was a reasonable success rate. When deciding on how many embryos to transfer, he spoke to my husband at length about the statistical possibilities of multiple embryos leading to multiple births from an educated, well versed position.
The billing at Columbia Fertility was a mess, I had a lot of back and forth to ensure that I was billed appropriately for a frozen cycle - the first cycle was cancelled and then I did another back-to-back, so there was a lot of items that had to be "credited" before I paid for the real cycle. They seemed to never remember a phone conversation I had with them, so it was like starting from scratch each time. The billing office was fine when dealing with the insurance company though. The people at the front desk who I saw each day/week were all lovely.
How was your experience with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
I want lots of clear information about process and pros and cons of any options, to help me make decisions. Dr Sacks took tons of time to explain all of the treatment options we had to choose from, why he recommended IVF over IUI and what was a reasonable success rate. When deciding on how many embryos to transfer, he spoke to my husband at length about the statistical possibilities of multiple embryos leading to multiple births from an educated, well versed position. He was supportive of all of our decisions. He had a great sense of humor and brought levity to the tense medical procedures. Two years after a successful IVF cycle, I emailed Dr Sacks out of the blue to ask him to participate on an educational panel to teach people about fertility treatment and options and he jumped at the opportunity to help out - on a Sunday! He is an all-around great doctor and person.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Try to get him talking about his personal life or his kids :)
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates?
Dr. Sacks knew me and my husband and took the time to talk to us during our consultation and during each monitoring appointment. He was warm and friendly. He even saw me on the street (fully clothed!) and stopped to talk.
Describe your experience with Columbia Fertility Associates.
The billing at Columbia Fertility was a mess, I had a lot of back and forth to ensure that I was billed appropriately for a frozen cycle - the first cycle was cancelled and then I did another back-to-back, so there was a lot of items that had to be "credited" before I paid for the real cycle. They seemed to never remember a phone conversation I had with them, so it was like starting from scratch each time. The billing office was fine when dealing with the insurance company though. The people at the front desk who I saw each day/week were all lovely.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Monitoring was in the morning, but always made me a little late to work. I think hours started at 730am
Describe the costs associated with your care under Preston Sacks at Columbia Fertility Associates.
A frozen cycle was $5K plus a mandatory $500ish for cracking the embryo. I can't remember the full fresh cycle from 2012.
Describe Preston Sacks's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Columbia Fertility Associates.
Dr Sacks recommended transferring 1 embryo due to my age and the way the embryo looked. He would have been ok if we wanted to do 2. He spoke at length to my statistics-expert husband about the rates of success with one or two embryos.
10
Doctor
Preston Sacks
Humanity
Communication
Frequency Seen
Trustworthiness
Compassion
Explained risks
Adaptability
10
Clinic
Columbia Fertility Associates
Washington DC
Operations
Scheduling
Billing Department
Nursing Staff
Clinic Atmosphere
Educational Resources