These patients that were working with this third party fertility company, most likely already are being cared for at one of the practices in the network are now left asking many questions. This type of plan was put in place to reduce the financial burden for patients trying to pay for IVF. Now they are scrambling trying to find out what's next? Where is the money they paid up front in full for services? Were their Doctors in the network paid? Are they covered for their future treatments? What agreement did they make with the Fertility practices? Am I covered? I'm sure the questions can go on and on.
Take a moment to put your self in their shoes and think about how you would feel? This is no longer reducing the stress on these couples. It is now added stress and the unknown of whether they can continue with their plan to build a family. Maybe they're scrambling for money or another loan, or family to help them again. The situations for all couples probably vary but they are now thinking, where do they go from here?
Stress, financial burdens and having a medical plan in place to have a baby are just some of the things couples going through infertility treatments experience. I can attest to this since I was once in their shoes as a patient trying to build my family (in a different kind of way). Luckily, I had insurance that covered the majority of our infertility treatments, other than some extra out of pocket costs. I am truly grateful for the coverage in order to have some of the financial burden removed from us and I am the proud Mom of a now tween boy. Trying to relate to what these patients are going through is unimaginable. They probably already shelled out anywhere from $15,000-30,000 or even more for a plan to "come home with a baby". The perfect plan is to become pregnant on the first try but it doesn't always happen that way and if it did, then of course you might have overpaid into this said plan. However, if it takes several months or even longer to get pregnant couples would made the most of this investment/commitment with this third party fertility plan.
Fast forward; COVID shutdowns happened in March, fertility treatments were put on hold and patients wait in the dark, anxiously awaiting the reopening of their fertility practice to begin or complete their treatments to find out that this fertility company is no more. It's now July and some practices must be back to normal with proper protocals in place and others might not be. My curiosity is, I wonder if the fertility practices in their network were notified or if they too were left in the dark. Maybe the practices are out the payments due to them for upcoming treatments which left them scrambling. Most fertility practices from the Chief Doctor in charge down the ranks, most likely have that soft spot for these couples since they chose this field for a reason. The final outcome should be helping couples conceive, but other practices might think of patients as a number, treating it as a strict business transaction with no compassion for the matter at hand.
The hope is that the third party Fertility company does the right thing by these patients. They have been through a lot already and for this to happen it leaves them hurting. Fertility practices under the network, my hope is that you also work with patients. Some things might be out of your control but a fair, executed decision can be made accross the board or individualized for all patients you are caring for from this network. If there are patients mid-cycle or ready to go in for an egg retrieval or a fresh/cryo transfer let it happen!! Work out payment plans, reduced fees or even something more to alleviate the additional financial burden on these couples. I understand it is a business but your heart and compassion for your work should give you a flutter for a moment to do something even if it is small. This world has bigger problems at hand, right now for these patients they need to know that someone is there for them and working with them. Kindness goes a long way even if it is not an automatic ROI. Go that extra step!!
What are your thoughts? Are you a patient going through this? Are you a Fertility practice? Open to all comments; even if it is a comment for support to those going through this matter. All comments are based solely on your opinions or experiences.
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