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Making IVF Affordable for Couples

By East Coast Fertility

December 19th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Most people do not have insurance coverage for in vitro fertilization (IVF), forcing many patients to make treatment decisions based on their budget and not on best practices. Unfortunately, fertility clinics have not made care more affordable to assist their patients in making better decisions. Without good options, patients often resort to less expensive treatments including ovulation inducing hormones that stimulate multiple eggs to ovulate resulting in high risk, costly multiple pregnancies. IVF can avoid these multiple pregnancies by limiting the number of embryos transferred. In this way, affordable IVF saves money with less need for hospital beds, NICU beds and disability care. 
“It is my strong belief that every infertility center in the United States needs to restructure their costs in some way even if means making less money,” says David Kreiner, MD FACOG| Medical Director at East Coast Fertility (ECF). “Our clinic’s Single Embryo Transfer Program incentives transferring one embryo at a time so patients don’t have to feel they must hedge their bets and transfer more embryos to increase the chance of pregnancy.” 
A patient in the ECF program pays only for the initial fresh cycle. Thereafter, the cryopreservation of the embryos, the storage of the embryos and unlimited frozen embryo transfers are free. This eliminates the financial need for the patient to put all her eggs in one basket. 
ECF also offers a minimal stimulation program, MicroIVF, that not only is affordable ($3900) but eliminates the risk of hyperstimulation syndrome, uses fewer medications and minimizes the risk of developing a multiple pregnancy. MicroIVF is essentially the cost of IUI with ovulation inducing medications without the risk and better than twice the success. 
“I am so proud to work with a clinic who is a leader not just in reproductive care but in reproductive ethics,” says Pamela Madsen, founder of The American Fertility Association and The Fertility Advocate. “ECF offers income based sliding scale grants including the NYState DOH grant to patients doing IVF.” 
When combining an ECF grant with an IVF study, patients receive ICSI, cryo, unlimited frozen embryo transfers, medications, coculture and embryo glue for $6900. Some patients have a limited budget that they can apply to IVF treatment. For them a money back refund such as in ECF’s IVF Guarantee Program is ideal because in the absence of the birth of a live baby, the IVF fee minus the cost for medication and anesthesia is refunded 100%. 
“My wish is to assist all patients in need with creating that healthy family of their dreams without adding unnecessary risk,” says Kreiner. “Our programs help them in their quest. Until the government and insurance companies step up with coverage, it is up to the IVF programs themselves to help patients get the IVF that they need to build their families.”

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