How was your experience with Kristi Maas at Fertility Specialists Medical Group?
Dr. Maas is kind, intelligent and well-trained. I appreciated that she does seem to care, but she seems to have too many patients. I did NOT feel well cared for by her or this clinic. The rushed time at monitoring appointments and insufficient explanations in the process were defeating.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Kristi Maas at Fertility Specialists Medical Group?
If you have any questions, ask before you leave. Also, know that there are other doctors who have more time and better systems in place where you can receive the individualized support you need. Do not settle for a doctor just because you're already there.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Kristi Maas at Fertility Specialists Medical Group?
When you sit down with Dr. Maas for a consult, she is kind. But for most of the appointments (monitoring, discussing treatment, etc.), she seems rushed and does not ask if you have any questions. Often times I left my appointment wondering what happened or why something was recommended next. I often felt in the dark. I wrote a list of questions to ask at the next appointment and I stopped her before she left to ask her about it all. This made me feel like I was just a patient to collect insurance and copayments from, not to help along in this difficult journey. Also, at most appointments, I was asked by various staff when my LMP was even though I have completely anovulatory PCOS. It seemed like the clinic should have this noted in my chart, and that made me feel like a number rather than a person.
Describe the protocols Kristi Maas used in your cycles at Fertility Specialists Medical Group and their degree of success.
My very first cycle under the care of a fertility specialist was with Dr. Maas. She recommended Letrozole (lowest dose) and timed intercourse. Initially I wasn't responding to the medication, but she recommended that we wait a few days and then check on my response. It appeared that I would be ovulating and she prescribed me Ovidrel injection for ovulation and we did timed intercourse. Two weeks later, I had a negative pregnancy test and I never got a period. Dr. Maas thought for sure that I ovulated (but my second RE thinks I never did).
My second cycle was also with Letrozole at a higher dose. I did not respond initially. I was seen by Dr. Maas's colleague that day and she prescribed me the highest dose of Letrozole. No one ever explained this to me so it honestly felt like the wrong treatment for me. I felt uneasy and uncared for so did not complete the cycle because of skepticism with the office. No pregnancy resulted.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff at Fertility Specialists Medical Group.
This office has many different nurses, and I often saw a different nurse each time. I never got to learn their names even though I had been at the clinic for over 6 months. Nurses are friendly, but they are frustratingly difficult to communicate with. They also . When my husband got his semen analysis, I called the office about the results/interpretation and a nurse said she would "spread the word" about the results to be on the lookout for them and then call me back. This response was unprofessional and awkward, and we never did get a call back that day. It was a Friday so we gave them the benefit of the doubt as having a busy day, but we still did not get the results until I called again that Monday or Tuesday. Communication with nurses was one of the most frustrating parts of my time with this clinic. Often you could not get ahold of a nurse so you would be sent to voicemail and the majority of the time you would not get a call back. If you did get to talk to a nurse, it was a different one each time. I felt like I (and my my concerns/questions/voicemails) got lost in the poorly organized system of this office.
Describe your experience with Fertility Specialists Medical Group.
Strengths of this clinic include having two locations in San Diego, nice offices, and great availability for appointments. The Carlsbad location is really nice and new. The San Diego office is very large. It is easy to get appointments same day/week. However, these factors don't really matter as much compared to the office's weaknesses. Weaknesses of this clinic include terrible communication, disorganization, poor systems and disjointed staff. Communication is their biggest downfall. Doctors are too busy to explain what they are doing and why. Doctors act like they are trying to see as many patients as humanly possible in a day so they can collect a bigger paycheck (from you and from your insurance). Never expect a phone call or email from a nurse - let alone from a doctor here. With an office this big, two locations, and so many staff members, there REALLY needs to be systems in place. The disorganization here is frustrating. For example, sometimes I was seen in both locations and my files were not always in the right location, even though I spoke with the front desk about ensuring my files would be available when I made each appointment. Also, when I finally decided I deserved better patient care, I requested my medical records and some of the records were missing. I had to advocate for myself to get the complete set of records because this office didn't have it all together themselves.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Kristi Maas at Fertility Specialists Medical Group.
With TRICARE Standard, my copayment for monitoring ultrasound and blood work was about $30. Most everything else was covered.
What specific things went wrong at Fertility Specialists Medical Group?
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Fertility Specialists Medical Group.
It is clear this team is not integrated and does not communicate regularly. The receptionist, nurses, financial staff, doctors, etc. are not on the same page. For example, we wanted to start our second cycle right away, but we were told that we had to wait for insurance prior authorization again. This was our first time doing these treatments and we did not know this information. We thought insurance was fine because we were still within the authorization approval window. Someone from the staff should have been aware of this to save us some time, but they didn't. So we requested prior authorization and one staff member said they would put it in that same day we talked. Nearly a week after that, we called our insurance to see if it had been approved and they said they had not received any request! We had to call back multiple times to finally get ahold of someone and they apologized and eventually got it done. YOU as the patient have to be steps ahead and proactive because this clinic will not have it all together for you. This just delayed our time getting pregnant unnecessarily. Also, when we requested medical records, they said they needed a month, so we gave them that time. As that month came, we started calling to ask when we could come pick up the records and they still said they were not ready but did not know when they would be. Tired of the waiting and wasted time, I went in person and told them it had been a month and I needed the records now, especially if I had to pay for them ($25) and had already waited a month. That worked, but it was unnecessarily difficult working with this clinic. This clinic caused me more tears and frustration that were unrelated to the medication/infertility itself. Patients deserve better.