How was your experience with Julie Sroga-Rios at UC Health Center for Reproductive Health?
She was nice and patient. She did explain things better than Dr. Thomas. But she was a poor communicator and turned out to be untrustworthy. As I described before, I had a very hard time making appointments work with my work schedule, and I later learned she was accommodating certain patients by seeing them in her lab on the side. Would’ve been nice!
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Julie Sroga-Rios at UC Health Center for Reproductive Health?
Go to IRH instead. Do your research and make sure you are well educated on your own diagnosis and plan of care, so you can question her and Dr. Thomas when they make mistakes due to not reading your chart or treating you like a number. He “Beat infertility” podcast - especially the episodes with Dr. Rodgers -taught me soooo much and empowered me to ask the right questions. As I described before, I had to call Dr. Thomas after he wrote scripts for the wrong injectables for me - I wouldn’t have known which ones he SHOULD have prescribed had it not been for the knowledge I gained from this podcast. He corrected his mistake when I called him but I nearly paid for the wrong meds!!
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Julie Sroga-Rios at UC Health Center for Reproductive Health?
I saw either Dr. Sroga or Dr. Thomas each visit at this location over the course of my 8 “tries”. I was there about 2 days per week monitoring my egg growth with transvaginal ultrasounds. Despite the fact that I was there so much, it was like we’d never met before (each visit), or like they didn’t bother reading my chart at all to refresh their memory.
Dr. Thomas was worse than Dr. Sroga in this aspect - For example, he would say okay so we’re doing an IUI this cycle, right? Nope, nope not at all - told you that two days ago... at one point Dr. Thomas wrote scripts for my injectables. After doing some research, i had to call him and tell him I believed he prescribed the wrong injectables (as it should’ve been Menopur due to my hypothalamic ammenorhea) - his response was oh yeah, you’re right, I’ll rewrite your script - so I nearly paid hundreds/thousands of dollars for the wrong injectables bc he didn’t take the time to think about prescribing me the correct meds for my personal diagnosis and needs. ridiculous!
It was also verrrry hard to get an appointment time that worked with my work schedule. They wouldn’t let me book ahead at all (would have to unexpectedly book for two days later with very few times available). I had to leave work and flex my hours countless times to fit their schedule - sometimes Is have to drive 45 mins to their other location. And here I am a few years later hearing through the grapevine that they were doing private visits at their lab at the hospital to accommodate certain patients (myself not included obviously).
Here’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. After 6 failed cycles of oral and injectables meds, we decided to move forward with IVF. Dr. Sroga day me down in her office and discussed all of the meds and plan of care. She wrote all of my scripts, had me order my meds, and had me start birth control (the first step of the IVF cycle for me). After being on the birth control for a few weeks and not hearing from the IVF nurses about taking the next step, I contacted them. They very bluntly with no empathy at all emailed me and stated I wasn’t in their system for doing IVF bc my insurance hadn’t pre-authorized it, and that they were booked up for the rest of the year. (This was in early November). They said “we’re all booked up, you have to wait until February”. That was it... WHAAAT!?? Why was I led to believe my IVF cycle had already begun?? why was I started on meds if I wasn’t in their system as having started my IVF cycle!? I had been in contact with the (new) financial lady (Tanya) all along who was not helpful or knowledgeable. This was a horrifying day and was the last straw for me. Their lack of communication both with each other and with me was absolutely jaw-dropping... at work and in tears, I called IRH and by the grace of God was able to get in for my (successful) IVF cycle there - I got in on the LAST day possible for 2016 (as their lab closes around the holidays) - so it was meant to be for me to leave UC. I still feel traumatized over my experience at UC.
Describe the protocols Julie Sroga-Rios used in your cycles at UC Health Center for Reproductive Health and their degree of success.
I have hypothalamic ammenorhea (and my ovaries look like PCOS ovaries, but my hormones do not - this is typical for someone w PCOS).
First we tried clomid but my body didn’t respond at all. Did it 3 times with increasing dosages but no response (meaning my eggs didn’t grow so we couldn’t even try anything).
Then we tried letrazole, which my body DID respond to (initially). The first time it made my eggs grow, but I didn’t ovulate. So the next time (5th try) we added the trigger shot and timed intercourse but no success. And when we tried again, my body stopped responding to letrazole and my eggs didn’t grow large enough/ stopped growing so we couldn’t even get to the trigger shot. Tried again (7th try) and same thing - eggs didn’t grow life enough.
So 8th time tried injectables + trigger + IUI. Negative test.
This is when we decided to try IVF and got majorly screwed over due to their lack of communication and compassion - as I described earlier.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
As I described earlier, I had started an IVF cycle and was about three weeks into the OCPs with no contact from the nurses (after sitting down w Dr. Sroga and having her write me scripts and describe my plan of care). I reached out to the nursing staff who simply responded that I wasn’t in the books as having started IVF and that “they were all booked up and I’d have to wait until February to start”. This was November and I was under the impression that I was already in the midst of an IVF cycle!! They emailed the above response to me. No phone call. No I’m sorry for the miscommunication. Nothing. It was absolutely heart breaking and soooo confusing!?
Describe your experience with UC Health Center for Reproductive Health.
It is very hard to get in for an appointment at a time outside of work hours. Appointments during cycles are often planned 2-3 days ahead, which gives you very little time/notice.
The office is very small and you have to wait sometimes 30 mins to see the doctor.
You will see whichever doctor is there when you go throughout your cycles. Dr Thomas is even worse than Dr Sroga in regards to knowing you / your plan of care / reading your chart.
You don’t communicate w nurses unless you’re doing IVF - and the IVF nurses are NOT nice.
I described/detailed examples of all of the above in my earlier comments.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Julie Sroga-Rios at UC Health Center for Reproductive Health.
Oral meds were cheap, maybe about $7 per cycle (with insurance).
Injectables I bought overseas from the UK for a lower cash price, about $1000 for Menopur
I had a $20 copay each visit and went about 2x per week for about 8 months. Insurance covered transvaginal ultrasounds silly as they were “diagnostic”. I paid about $250 for the IUI after insurance.
Describe Julie Sroga-Rios's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at UC Health Center for Reproductive Health.
No comment bc we didn’t get that far
What specific things went wrong at UC Health Center for Reproductive Health?
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Canceled a cycle due to clinic error
Describe the specific things that went wrong at UC Health Center for Reproductive Health.
I described/detailed examples of all of the above in my earlier comments, but to recap:
The financial lady (Tanya) was NOT helpful in getting me pre-authorized for IVF. I will say that my insurance company did mess up in that they had accidentally applied my transvaginal ultrasounds to my Infertility Max, which made pre-authorization difficult (bc I had to have them reverse all of those claims bc the only thing that should’ve gone towards my max was one single IUI). So my insurance company did mess up but Tanya was not helpful at all in helping me get this corrected. I did get them to correct it, but Tanya failed to tell me that bc it hadn’t been pre-authorized, I wasn’t getting placed “on the books” for my IVF cycle. Dr. Sroga has me start meds for the cycle and it wasn’t until about 3 weeks into the cycle that I reached out to the IVF nurse staff who bluntly told me nope you’re not on the books and can’t start until Feb (his was Nov). Had I known all of this then I would’ve just paid cash OOP for the cycle and had insurance reimburse me later on!! Still so mad about this.
My other examples of difficulty with appointments and Dr. Thomas ordering the wrong injectables were detailed in my earlier comments.