How was your experience with Eugene Katz at Shady Grove Fertility?
Dr. Eugene Katz is very knowledgeable in his field. He is a good doctor and knows what he's doing. Whenever treatment failed (i.e., miscarriage) he was patient at our follow up appointment explaining next steps and different options. At no point did we feel like he gave up on us or encourage us to do something we weren't interested in doing. We came prepared with questions and he took the time to patiently answer them, in person. Our treatment has not yet worked, but we've tweaked the process with Dr. Katz every step of the way. His phone manner is fine, not the best but also not the warmest. While it's hard to deliver bad news over the phone, he's got it down pat. It's hard to say whether the bad news affects my opinion of his phone manner.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Eugene Katz at Shady Grove Fertility?
I would tell prospective patients to come prepared to appointments and be informed of your options going in, so that when the doctor brings something up you're not playing catch up. There is a lot of information at every appointment and it's ok to ask questions. Don't let being overwhelmed keep you from pursuing different options. Don't get bogged down with internet searches that make you second guess your medical professional. Specifically with Dr. Katz, be prepared to see different doctors (whoever is on call) for different procedures like egg retrieval or embryo transfers.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Eugene Katz at Shady Grove Fertility?
The Shady Grove Towson office is a very busy place and it's often run like a factory. This is good and bad. Due to the sheer volume of patients they provide cycles all year round with monitoring every day of the week including holidays which is convenient. The downside is that the office is missing the "warm" component because they run the office like a business. They try to assign a specific nurse per patient to be your go-to contact in the office, but there is turnover in the nursing staff as well as days off where your assigned nurse isn't there. There is always someone available to answer questions and knows how to look up your chart to give you accurate information, but it doesn't feel they're invested in your success. Dr. Katz himself is a great doctor but he is very busy and not the best on the phone. In person he is very patient and caring, giving you the feeling he's on your side.
Describe the protocols Eugene Katz used in your cycles at Shady Grove Fertility and their degree of success.
We used the antagonist protocol for all five IVF cycles using Menopur, Gonal-F, and Cetrotide. The dosage started out small (i.e., 75 menopur and 300 Gonal-F) and got increased as we got closer to egg retrieval. About six days before scheduled retrieval I started on Cetrotide once daily. For the first four FET and ERA protocols I was on delestrogen 0.2 every three days, PIO daily started after lining check, and prenatal vitamin daily. For the fifth FET protocol in addition to the deletrogen and PIO we added Prednison and Lovenox (anti-inflammatory and blood thinner) .
Describe your experience with your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility. (Assigned nurse: Stephanie H.)
Since I've been with the clinic several years I have gone through three nurses as they move positions throughout the different Shady Grove offices. In Jan 2016 I was assigned my current nurse and she's been the best so far. When she is out for her scheduled days off she always has an away message on her email and someone monitoring her phone. Information is always relayed promptly and accurately. Emails and messages are always responded to promptly which I greatly appreciate. Beside for my regular nurse, all the backup nurses, lab technicians who draw blood, office staff, etc. are all knowledgeable and friendly. I've never had any issues with any of the nursing staff.
Describe your experience with Shady Grove Fertility.
The Shady Grove Towson office has many strengths, including: The front office is organized; there is monitoring every day; the doctors take the time to answer questions; there is ample parking which is validated at the front desk; the location is convenient to me and right off the highway; scheduling is never an issue; professional staff; they are located upstairs from a specialty pharmacy (Austin) which has employees that are amazing to work with; the waiting room is spacious and clean.
There are also several weaknesses, such as: long wait times for monitoring appointments sometimes, but especially during weekends or holidays; no "warmth" from staff in treatment. It feels like a sterile environment and that they're not so invested in your success; the financial aspect is difficult depending on which staff member you're talking to - make sure you understand everything and confirm in writing.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Eugene Katz at Shady Grove Fertility.
Upward of $40,000 to date
Describe Eugene Katz's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Shady Grove Fertility.
Dr. Katz was very adamant about transferring only one embryo. In his opinion the odds do not increase with multiple embryos transferred and that the risk of premature labor with twins/multiples was too great.
What specific things went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility?
- Lost paperwork
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Shady Grove Fertility.
When switching health insurance between 2015 and 2016 I confirmed with the financial counselor whether I would need to keep my old insurance to get the self-pay rate for out of pocket costs in case my new insurance gave me problems with coverage. I was told via email that as long as my husband was on the old insurance we would be eligible for the lower self-pay rate. Based on this information, I was removed from that insurance and once Jan 1 came around I asked the clinic to verify my new information. As expected, my new insurance had limitations so we wanted to move forward with the self-pay rate. We were told that the information we had received weeks earlier was incorrect and that I, as the patient, needed to be on the insurance to be eligible for the lower self-pay rate. Since I had the information from the financial counselor in writing via email I argued that I made decisions based on information I had received which affected us for the entire 2016 and that it was unfair to be penalized for their error. Had I known I need to be a patient I would have kept that insurance. The ordeal took several weeks to resolve, escalating to the supervisor and then again to the financial manager. In the end as a compromise they allowed us to get one cycle at the lower rate. It was frustrating and disappointing to have this happen at the beginning of the year and we felt stuck until the following fall when we were able to switch insurance again. This wasn't so much the clinic's fault as much as one employee who did her job poorly and gave us wrong information which had long lasting effects on us.