How was your experience with Nicole Kummer at Advanced Fertility Care of Arizona?
Dr. Kummer made sure we were always fully informed of our treatment options, the success rates, the cost, and how many times we could stay with our current treatment before it would make the most sense to move on. She presented all the information by talking through it in the clinical way and then breaking it down to explain in further detail what it meant for us with our specific diagnosis, male factor. As she was breaking down our treatment options she used our results from our diagnostic testing to break down the different procedures and success rates using visuals as she explained. Knowing we had a lower chance of success with IUI, but knowing the financial leap it would be to go straight to IVF, she did a great job counseling us on how many times to try IUI upfront. During our first cycle the numbers for our sperm count was not ideal for IUI and Dr. Kummer did a fantastic job delivering that news in a way that presented us with the options for such a delicate situation. My husband was able to come back in prior to the IUI to produce another sample to help improve our numbers (unfortunately it was still unsuccessful). When we came in for the actual procedure she conveyed that although our numbers were on the lower side for what they like for IUI they would be perfect for IVF, but if this round was unsuccessful one (maybe two) more tries at IUI could possibly work. I loved that she was realistic and was there to support our decisions through this process. It was comforting that she was giving us insight using our results from these failed cycles to help inform the decisions we were making for what to do next. We could tell that Dr. Kummer wanted the best results for us and was there to support our treatment decisions without pushing for going straight to IVF or doing countless rounds of IUI. Once we had our second round of IUI that was unsuccessful we made the decision to pause our treatment as we save the money for IVF. When we reached out to Dr. Kummer she was so wonderful as she gave us some next step information, answering our financial questions (so we could come up with a plan specific to our needs), and let us know that if we had any questions we could always arrange an in person meeting to go over them. As a patient the experience was always positive and I always felt like I could reach out with any questions or concerns that came up.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Nicole Kummer at Advanced Fertility Care of Arizona?
One piece of advice I would give a prospective patient is to expect that you may not see Dr. Kummer every time you come in, the way the clinic is structured you will be seen by the other two doctors as well. They are all wonderful, so it was never an issue for us, but if you are expecting to only see Dr. Kummer for every appointment that is not necessarily the case.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Nicole Kummer at Advanced Fertility Care of Arizona?
Dr. Kummer always made sure that we were informed on all the specifics of our treatments, including our odds for success, delivered in a way that conveyed that she really cared about our outcomes. She always made sure her delivery was in a way that was both caring, but straight to the facts (which is exactly how we liked the information). She was upfront with our success rates for both IUI and IVF, but never pushed for us to go in a certain way. She laid out the facts and gave us input to help us weigh both of the options from a monetary and medical standpoint. Even though her time was precious (as it is with these appointments/doctors) she never made us feel rushed and was always available to answer our questions in person, on the phone, or through email.
Describe the protocols Nicole Kummer used in your cycles at Advanced Fertility Care of Arizona and their degree of success.
I did two rounds of medicated IUI cycles using Clomid and a trigger shot. Throughout both cycles I was on levothyroxine to bring my slightly elevated TSH levels into the desired range for pregnancy. The first round we used 50 mg dosage of Clomid (starting on day 3), 5000 units of Novarel, and 100 mg progesterone suppositories following the IUI. For the second round we increased the dosage of Clomid to 100 mg (starting on day 3). Both rounds were monitored and the trigger was administered when my follicles had matured to the size that was desired. (The first round my follicles were a little slower to mature, which is why the dosage for Clomid was increased.) Both rounds were unsuccessful.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
The nursing staff was always friendly, thorough, and helpful. When I was nervous that I had to do my first trigger shot they were so helpful giving me a demonstration on how to do it, explained what I needed to do/where it needed to be injected, and let me practice on their demonstration thing. They were so helpful.
Describe your experience with Advanced Fertility Care of Arizona.
The clinic's strengths would be that all of the doctors are very nice and the staff is friendly and welcoming. Having multiple doctors on staff allowed flexibility in scheduling, which was really great being a teacher and having very limited times to come in for frequent appointments (especially blood draws/monitoring appointments). Also having multiple doctors allowed for one of them to be available to do the diagnostic testing, monitoring, and IUIs at each appointment. The clinic's weaknesses were mostly on the billing side and lack of communication. During our first IUI we got a phone call from Dr. Kummer telling us that our sperm sample was very low after the wash and were given options as to how to proceed, we chose to come in and give another before the insemination to boost the numbers. (That was great, she was so amazing about that.) However, with the second IUI we never heard anything from the clinic (so we assumed everything was fine), when we came in for the insemination we were told that the doctor was in a meeting (not Dr. Kummer, one of the other doctors) and a nurse practitioner would perform it instead, and then we only found out the extremely low numbers from the second IUIs sperm sample after our negative pregnancy test (when I asked about it). That lack of communication the second time around was very disappointing. A few months after our failed IUIs we were lucky to find out that my husband’s company’s insurance had great coverage for all infertility testing and treatment. When the new year (2020) began we had an IVF consult with Dr. Zoneraich because Dr. Kummer had left the clinic between our treatments and this consult. We gave the clinic our new insurance information, but even when they called prior to the appointment to verify we complete our insurance required WINFertility consult they never mentioned that their lab was not contracted with our insurance. It was not until the end of our IVF consult when we sat down with the financial advisor that they told us that even with our insurance coverage we would be paying the majority of our treatments as self-pay because their lab is not contracted through pretty much any insurance carrier. We were not aware that this was something to even think about before it happened to us, so if you have insurance coverage call the clinic before you even go for a consult to make sure that their lab is contracted through your insurance carrier! That was a huge shock that led to us finding a new clinic that did work with our insurance completely. Just be aware that even in network providers may not use labs that are contracted through your insurance.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Nicole Kummer at Advanced Fertility Care of Arizona.
I believe the initial consultation was $200, diagnostic testing was around $1000, and each IUI cycle was $925 plus about $160 for medication. During that treatment time we had no insurance coverage and paid the self pay price, but going into our IVF consult we had coverage (which impacted further treatment cost/decisions). The IVF consult with insurance was about $180 I believe towards our deductible.
What specific things went wrong at Advanced Fertility Care of Arizona?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
Describe the specific things that went wrong at Advanced Fertility Care of Arizona.
On my first round of IUI the clinic did not send in my prescription for Clomid to the pharmacy. This issue was quickly resolved when I called the clinic though. They did apologize for the mix up and the issue was resolved immediately.