How was your experience with Shannon DeVore at NYU Langone Fertility Center?
Dr. DeVore was the second endocrinologist whom I interviewed for an elective egg freezing cycle as a single woman. I wanted to take the time to research and to vet my options before embarking on an emotional and physically challenging process with a significant financial investment attached.
I liked her immediately and I found her to be very grounded, refreshing and reassuring. We discussed NYU's clinical success rate of autologous live births (resulting from the donor's own eggs) and the pros and cons of other practices. She outlined the process, expectations and next steps for me with great efficiency and clarity and she fully introduced me to her Patient Coordinator and billing team for separate consultations onsite before I left so I had enough information in hand to commit to the practice.
I also appreciated that Dr. DeVore is approximately my age and, as such, I felt that I was confiding in a peer who never talked down to me nor judged me. I felt such warmth and presence from her. As a patient, I felt that I had an empathetic cheerleader who was encouraging me while also expertly piloting my medical journey.
On our first consultation, she accurately predicted the number of eggs which were ultimately retrieved. When I saw her for 2 of my 5 morning monitoring sessions, she was spot on with her predictions for my prescription adjustments and the days I would ultimately wind up administering my trigger shots and scheduling retrieval. Dr. DeVore continuously managed my expectations.
As with any busy clinic, NYU has its share of administrative hiccups. For one of my morning monitoring sessions, the RN accidentally released me after taking bloodwork but before Dr. DeVore was able to see me for my scheduled ultrasound. By the time I had exited the elevator and was standing outside on the sidewalk , Dr. DeVore called me personally to profusely apologize for the miscommunication and to ask if I was able to pop upstairs again to meet with her. It was not a major grievance to me at all, but I appreciated that she accepted accountability and graciously apologized again in person, admitting that it was NYU's fault and not on me as the patient. Dr. DeVore is a class act!
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Shannon DeVore at NYU Langone Fertility Center?
Meet with her. You will really love her, and I hope you too benefit from her level of care, expertise and compassion.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Shannon DeVore at NYU Langone Fertility Center?
Dr. DeVore is a dream. She was very focused, articulate and compassionate in our in-person interactions. In addition to her medical pedigree and level of consummate care, I thought she was refreshingly honest and very positive and encouraging. It was a joy to work with her and her team at NYU.
Describe the protocols Shannon DeVore used in your cycles at NYU Langone Fertility Center and their degree of success.
I had a pretty straightforward stims process: 300IU Follistim and 150IU Menopur daily before Ganirelix was introduced followed by Ovidrel and Lupron for the triggers. My cycle spanned 13 days which included 6 blood draws, 4 ultrasounds and a COVID-19 nasal swab test which is mandatory for all NYU procedures requiring anesthesia. My injection protocol did not change too much over the course of my cycle; my body responded just as Dr. DeVore had predicted and we were able to retrieve 12 eggs on the 13th day.
Describe your experience with your nurse at NYU Langone Fertility Center. (Assigned nurse: Kimown Peters, Patient Coordinator)
I elected to freeze my eggs during the COVID-19 quarantine in NYC which was a naturally inconvenient (and perhaps anxiety-riddled) time for all involved. This added in some complications to the process i.e. morning monitoring sessions were scheduled (not drop-in); partners and escorts were prohibited from waiting rooms; patients were required to complete COVID-19 nasal swab tests within 5 days of surgery; and patient orientation was a WebEx webinar in lieu of an in-person forum.
In spite of these complications, I really enjoyed the entire NYU Langone team including Kimown Peters, my Patient Coordinator; Haley Penny, the Health Educator and licensed social worker who led a socially distant virtual patient orientation (in lieu of a more intimate and traditional in-person orientation); Jean-Ann McKiernan, the RN who explained trigger shots to me; and Taylor and Alyssa, two of the RNs at the main East side location who administered expert and personable care.
Describe your experience with NYU Langone Fertility Center.
Off all of the fertility centers located in NYC, NYU Langone has the longest history and thus some of the best longitudinal data and success rates.
On the recommendation of my friends who have also relied on assisted reproductive technology, I took my time to thoroughly research, vet and interview multiple practitioners and clinics. An acquaintance recommended NYU Langone to me because, like me, she went through an elective egg freezing process as a single woman (years before she met her now-husband). I appreciated that she had a positive experience as a single woman navigating the process.
It may be important to note that NYU practices a "doctor of the day" rotation when it comes to morning monitoring and to surgical procedures. Dr. Devore oversaw my medical protocol and she reviewed my results daily but I met with her in person 3 times (1 consultation, 2 ultrasounds). NYU has 8 doctors on staff and I met 3 others across the NoMad satellite and East side main locations. I enjoyed all 4 of the doctors whom I met and I always felt that I was receiving expert care.
NYU is a bit of a beast. As a patient, even if you are working with an excellent provider, you must be an advocate for yourself to ensure you are not lost in the shuffle. You will meet and speak with so many nurses, administrative professionals, billing representatives et. al. along the way and there is a bound to be at least one individual whose communication style does not align with yours or who seems a bit stressed or rushed that day. Know that you are in control and that you can always call the Main Office number to request a nurse or admin callback. Whenever I asked for clarification or more help, someone always passed the message along and I received a prompt callback. You are already so brave for going through this process...don't be ashamed to be assertive, too!
Describe the costs associated with your care under Shannon DeVore at NYU Langone Fertility Center.
Under my Aetna insurance, I was largely a self-pay patient. Insurance helped to defray my initial consultation ($50 specialist copay) and bloodwork costs but the cycle, anesthesia administration and prescriptions were 100% out-of-pocket.
At NYU, your first cycle is currently $9200 which includes the first year of cryostorage (billed at $1000/yr thereafter). Eggs are retrieved and stored onsite; they never leave the building unless you file paperwork for an elective transfer.
Anesthesia is an additional $1050, billed separately.
I applied for a ReUnite Assist discount (a simple online application) and I received a 20% discount off Follistim and Ganirelix within 24 hours. Even then, out-of-pocket, my prescriptions amounted to nearly $5700.
All in, factoring some additional copays to other doctors and fees for elective genetic carrier screening testing, my total investment has been $16k+ before the cost of annual cryostorage and (perhaps) eventual IVF is factored in. It has been a significant financial investment but I am happy with the outcome and the level of care administered.
What specific things went wrong at NYU Langone Fertility Center?
- Lost appointments
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at NYU Langone Fertility Center.
(See my above notes...I think that admin mistakes are bound to happen at a clinic of this size, but they never detrimentally impacted my treatment.)