Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility.
You do not see the doctor enough. For as much as these procedures cost, you'd think you'd see your doctor at least once during your monitoring. But you don't. You see other doctors who someones come in to help you understand your monitoring. The billing department is literally impossible to deal with. It doesn't matter if you contract says specifically what they will and won't cover based on your fee, if they have another list (a list you haven't been provided) that says your fee doesn't cover a particular service - even if that service seems completely logical to the IVF process (not something special), you will be charged extra. That said, their shared risk program is pretty amazing if you think you have a chance of not getting pregnant on your first try. Keep in mind, though, that the shared risk program does not cover the injection class (even though it is not stated in the contract that it is not covered, and since it is held at the clinic by clinic staff, should logically be covered by the shared risk program). Also, meeting with your doctor after a failed IVF cycle under the shared risk program to discuss next steps (also seems like a necessary visit that should logically be included in the cost) is also NOT covered in the shared risk program. So basically, you pay your $20,000+ and still have to pay extra to see your doctor throughout your failed attempts. That's super annoying. A strength, though, is that they do have very good medication specialists to figure out your medication coverage through insurance. My first fresh cycle with Shady Grove was with a different health insurance, so it wasn't covered. However, my insurance changed and they have been appealing my insurance denials, and winning! So, if I need to go through another fresh cycle, I will probably have much smaller payments for medication. Fingers crossed. Their care coordinators are great and incredibly responsive.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Arthur Sagoskin at Shady Grove Fertility?
We first starting meeting with Dr. Sagoskin a few years ago but my husband really didn't like his bedside manner. I kind of didn't care, but he did somewhat treat us like a number in our first consultation with him. Plus, Shady Grove is quite expensive so we tried a different doctor/clinic for our first round, which proved unsuccessful. We decided to come back to Shady Grove and meet again with Dr. Sagoskin. It was like he was a different person. He was warm, he answered all our questions, we didn't feel rushed. He was great, and has been great when it comes to the side of making us feel "human" since we started seeing him again in 2018.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility. (Assigned nurse: Tina)
Initially I was no pleased with the nursing/care coordinators in Dr. Sagoskin's staff. They seemed annoyed by questions or overwhelmed by patient load. At one point I was foisted off of one care coordinator who abruptly left the office for another one in the Shady Grove family, and I had no one helping me, which was super frustrating because I was starting my first fresh cycle with Shady Grove in two weeks. Finally, I got frustrated and worried about some medication issues I was having and went straight to the clinic without and appointment, requesting to see Tina (as she had been my sort-of contact without actually having been assigned my case.) She took care of me, she was kind and patient. She got me some samples when I ran out of medication and she listened to me when I told her how scared I was about all the costs running up. I had spent so much money and didn't know what to do. She helped. Then she gave me her direct number and told me that she was officially adding me as her patient, that way there would be no more confusion. Tina has been amazing.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility?
- Provided conflicting information
How was your experience with Arthur Sagoskin at Shady Grove Fertility?
Overall, I like him. If someone were to go to Shady Grove, I'd recommend him. My problems are more with how the clinic is run as a whole (which as a founding doctor of the clinic, I guess means that I disagree with Dr. Sagoskin's approach in that regard.)
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Arthur Sagoskin at Shady Grove Fertility?
Write down all your questions beforehand. Do not leave until you've had them all answered. He is willing to answer, but you have to ask.
Describe the protocols Arthur Sagoskin used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility and their degree of success.
Egg retrieval treatment protocol included birth control for almost three weeks. Then we did 900 IU Gonal-F plus 150 ml of Menopur everyday for 12 days as I have a slightly higher FSH and a middle of the road AMH. The Menopur was increased to 225 in the last three or four days because my follicles needed a little extra boost to get to the desired size (they were kinda stuck around 18mm-20mm). Cetrotide was given at day 5 or 6 for the rest of the stimulation cycle to keep me from ovulating. HCG was used for the trigger, and I took an (crazy) antibiotic the day before my retrieval. (That thing was terrible and gave me the worst stomach cramps and diarrhea.) Egg retrieval resulted in 8 eggs, of which only 6 were mature. 5 eggs were fertilized, but only 2 made it to day 5. I began using Endomentrin progesterone inserts 3 times per day, the day after the retrieval through the transfer and up until the pregnancy test. I also took Estrace (Estradiol) daily. One embryo was transferred, and the other was frozen. The fresh transfer resulted in a negative pregnancy test 13 days later.
The frozen embryo transfer treatment protocol: I began with birth control for two weeks, after which I began taking Estrace (Estradiol) three times per day. On day 16, after they checked my uterine lining which was 12mm, I began using 1mL of progesterone oil once every three days. I also started Endometrin inserts twice daily. On day six of injecting and inserting progesterone, I had one frozen embryo transferred that used assisted hatching. That was yesterday so I will have to update in 13 days as to the results.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Arthur Sagoskin at Shady Grove Fertility.
The costs for diagnosis were pretty expensive, especially since some weren't covered by insurance. Many were, but most weren't. And if you lapse by three years, you have to redo everything. Semen analysis is $150/time. My husband has had to do this four times. The female diagnosis (mock embryo and HSG were...$800(?) with Shady Grove). The medication costs for egg retrieval were nearly $6000. The Shared Risk Program was $19,500.
Describe Arthur Sagoskin's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility.
He has told me flat out that he will not transfer more than one embryo for me. I do not know his stance on multiple embryo transfer in general, but he said that I was too thin to chance having multiples. (I'm not that thin. I'm 5'7" and weigh 140lbs.) This is one of the few issues I've had personally with Dr. Sagoskin as this wasn't even allowed a discussion.