Describe your experience with San Diego Fertility Center.
The facility is really new and clean, a very nice aesthetic. A lot of the problems I've had with the clinic is not knowing what I don't know, and thankfully it's only caused minor problems like the headache of trying to deal with the wrong meds being ordered (despite written emails confirming quantities) or not realizing the facility/financial coordinators could handle the insurance billing. They also don't explain that you have to pay for everything up front - $17,000, and then get reimbursed as the procedures are submitted to the insurance company.
They also didn't highlight that their egg retrieval operation procedure is 'out of network' AND that you not only have to pay the co-pay with your insurance, but you also have to pay whatever the difference is between the facility billed amount and what the insurance is willing to pay. Say SDFC bills the insurance company $400 for the egg retrieval, and our insurance is only willing to pay $200. Our copay for out of network is 30%, so we are billed $120. But then we also owe SDFC $200 (the difference between the $400 they bill for egg retrieval and the $200 for what the insurance's negotiated rate is).
Most of this has just caused unneeded stress - the problem is that the staff assumes you know what you're in for in a lot of situations when it would be a lot easier to start the process assuming we know nothing.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Sandy Chuan at San Diego Fertility Center?
When seeing Dr. Chuan I felt like she was empathetic and concerned about our welling being, both physically and mentally. She made sure all our questions got answered and made sure we were comfortable with the process.
Describe your experience with your nurse at San Diego Fertility Center. (Assigned nurse: Jenn)
The primary nurse I worked with was difficult - she was cold, uncaring, going through the motions of her job. Upon our first meeting she made a rude comment about how large my file was - Dr. Chuan said that she sees patients like us a lot and knows that with a file that big, you're frustrated.
The primary nurse had several issues with attention to detail (types and quantities of meds being ordered, getting my phone number wrong to her staff and the pharmacy), and was slow or non-responsive to emails that were time sensitive.
That being said - the rest of the nursing team, including those handling financials, were easy to deal with and very helpful. The best way I can think to explain the rest of the team is this: When reporters went in to Cape Canaveral and asked the janitors to explain what their job was during the Apollo missions, they said it was their job to get the astronauts to the moon. Most of these nurses and support staff really care, it's just a few bad apples.
What specific things went wrong at San Diego Fertility Center?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Failed to convey critical information
- Failed to consider drug intolerance
How was your experience with Sandy Chuan at San Diego Fertility Center?
Dr. Chuan was very much in demand, and as such was often late to start appointments. She came into meetings informed about our recent and long term patient history and ready to hit the ground running.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Sandy Chuan at San Diego Fertility Center?
Make sure you have direct access to her because it's difficult to get through her team if you have a question you'd like to get answered directly by her.
Describe the protocols Sandy Chuan used in your cycles at San Diego Fertility Center and their degree of success.
When Clomid/Menopur didn't work at another facility for 3 IUI cycles, she suggested trying Letrozole with IUI's before moving on to more aggressive treatments like IVF. When those 3 cycles didn't work, she was open to using Letrozole instead of Clomid in our IVF process because I had a better reaction.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Sandy Chuan at San Diego Fertility Center.
This is all out of pocket as they require payment up front, submitting claims to insurance later.
Medical IVF: $6,100
Facility IVF: $1,836 (not sure the difference between these two line items)
Lab IVF: $3,264
ICSI, AH Cryo: $1,750
Gonal-F 450IU: 5 vials $2,010
Cabergoline oral tablet 0.5mg: 8 pills $140.54
Clomid 50mg: 5 tablets $51.76
Cetrotide Subcutaneous kit 0.25mg: qty 8 $438
Describe Sandy Chuan's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at San Diego Fertility Center.
I haven't gone through that process yet, but from my understanding of the CDC reported statistics, for all age groups the facility transfers roughly 1.9 to something like 2.3 embryos per cycle.