How was your experience with Shefali Shastri at RMA of New Jersey?
Dr Shefali Shastri is compassionate and has a great positive energy. If she would perform all treatments for her patients, I would give her 10 out of 10. But because other doctors perform the treatments, I gave 8 out of 10.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Shefali Shastri at RMA of New Jersey?
Don’t expect Dr Shefali Shastri to perform all of your IUIs or monitoring. Be prepared to receive treatment from other doctors. Research and be your own advocate.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Shefali Shastri at RMA of New Jersey?
During monitoring with other doctors scheduled for that day, I felt like a number. When I had my IUIs, Dr Shefali Shastri did not perform any of them. Other doctors that I have never met before performed the IUIs. I felt like a number with the other doctors. I can tell they did not take the time to review my chart to get to know my case a little more. I understand they have other patients to tend to. However going through this emotional rollercoaster journey of fertility, I felt Dr Shastri should have been the one to perform my IUIs. There were a few times Dr Shastri did do the monitoring because she was scheduled for that day. Other than that, Dr Shastri does have a great positive energy and great bedside manners. I wish she did my IUIs. Maybe they would have worked.
Describe the protocols Shefali Shastri used in your cycles at RMA of New Jersey and their degree of success.
Protocols were not aggressive. Medications were conservatively increased for me. This is understandable because when I first tried clomid for my first cycle, I developed a 40 mm cyst. Dr Shastri was afraid I would develop ovarian torsion so she cancelled the cycle. I wish they would have scheduled more monitoring because I felt there were a number of times where I ovulated early and by the time I received my IUI it was too late. My nurse said they don’t rely on at home ovulation predictor tests.
Describe your experience with your nurse at RMA of New Jersey. (Assigned nurse: Yes, Lynette Cardona)
Nurse Lynette was great. She explained everything very well. She accommodated me by calling me after 4 pm because I leave work at 4 pm. Or she would email me in case I was not able to be reached.
Describe your experience with RMA of New Jersey.
One strength RMA has is that it’s organized. Some weaknesses of RMA is that other doctors will perform some of the services. You may not see your assigned doctor at all. Be your own advocate. Also, RMA does not have a patient portal. Although your nurse or other nurses, if your nurse is out, will contact you and let you know your results from monitoring, they won’t give you a print out of your results. The only way to get your medical records is by requesting a copy of your medical records and then paying for each page up to the max $50.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Shefali Shastri at RMA of New Jersey.
I was lucky to have insurance cover all my IUIs, monitoring, HSG test, and endometrial biopsy. I had $50 copays for each visit. Mental counseling there was $175 fee paid directly to the Psychologist. This counseling session was required when using anonymous donor sperm. I believe it’s a higher cost when dealing with a known sperm donor. I had to pay $350 for genetic screening which RMA required I complete prior to starting the cycle. And then for each new donor sperm, I was required to do genetic counseling that fee was $75 each counseling session. And had to pay for donor sperm out of pocket. For my 6 IUIs, I calculated that we’ve spent a little over $10,000. My insurance covers IVF, but there’s a fertility mandate in NJ. This mandate requires me to complete a total of 12 failed IUIs before being required to cover IVF. Hopefully the law will be changed soon. My wife and I decided to do IVF at a different fertility clinic. They have a more affordable price for IVF. Just waiting for this Coronavirus shut down to end to start my cycle.
Describe Shefali Shastri's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at RMA of New Jersey.
I have not done IVF yet, but from my understanding RMA will only transfer 1 embryo.
What specific things went wrong at RMA of New Jersey?
- Provided conflicting information
- Lost or damaged samples
Describe the specific things that went wrong at RMA of New Jersey.
All IUIs were performed at the Basking Ridge location. During one cycle, a major mistake happened in their Basking Ridge lab. In my previous cycles, I had California Cryobank donor sperm. In this particular cycle, I had Fairfax Cryobank donor sperm delivered. I confirmed via email with RMA the donor sperm had come from Fairfax. However, the lab documented in my file as California Cryobank. RMA even called me to confirm the correct cryobank. But someone in their lab failed to correct the information on my file. When they thawed the sperm, they used California Cryobank’s thaw procedures instead of Fairfax Cryobank’s thaw procedures thus damaging donor sperm.