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Archive for the ‘Infertility legislation’ tag

Election Day, Politics, and Infertility

By Tracey Minella

November 8th, 2016 at 5:33 pm

 

image: coward_lion/free digitalphotos.net


Today, what feels like the longest, most controversial, and unprecedented presidential election campaign will finally come to an end. Sadly, and on a level not seen before, families and friendships have been broken over this election and we are all watching and holding our collective breath for the results as well as the potential aftermath.

But this post is not to persuade anyone on whom to choose. We each have issues that are important to us and, for some, the choice today may come down to which candidate supports our most important issue.

This post is to reflect on how the infertility community affects political change and public awareness of infertility.

Behind the scenes—and often center stage—countless people fight continuously for the rights of the infertility community. Some advocates are infertile right now; others may have already resolved their infertility but want to help those suffering today—and tomorrow. Some want to see certain groups, such as military veterans, get medical coverage for assisted reproductive technology. While others just want mandated infertility and adoption coverage for all.

There’s a lot going on in the political and infertile world—some front-burner and other back-burner movements.

A couple of months ago, after years of advocacy, the commonly-called #IVF4Vets bill, also known as MilCon-VA, was finally passed, removing the VA-bar on IVF treatment for veterans. This change is the first step toward providing IVF to military veterans who are infertile as a result of their military service. Unfortunately, it’s often one step forward and two steps back when it comes to gaining political ground. At practically the same time, what’s been coined the proposed Harris Embryo Amendment entered the picture. It’s also been called “the worst piece of federal legislation ever introduced”*.

The Harris Embryo Amendment would be a real threat to federally-funded IVF. In a nutshell, it would prohibit the federal funding of any IVF treatments in a federal government facility in which there is a possibility that any resulting viable embryo could be discarded or destroyed. Since excess embryos are not only commonplace in IVF, but generally an unavoidable result of the treatment, the mandated transfer of all fresh embryos would actually, in most cases, be detrimental, since the current standard practice is generally transferring only one or two embryos per cycle. In addition, the survival and use of all embryos thawed after cryopreservation cannot be guaranteed. So, the proposed amendment may threaten federally-funded IVF and cryopreservation as it now exists.

There have been other political initiatives in recent years on behalf of the infertile, including but not limited to the Family Act and the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act. As assisted reproductive technology continues to advance and the demand for these services grows, we can expect to continue to advocate both for and against new legislation.

So, after this election—and maybe just a short break from the politics—consider becoming more involved in infertility-related advocacy and legislation. The first and best step would be to reach out the RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association—the group that fights tirelessly for the rights of the infertile community. (Thanks, RESOLVE!) You can check out the political initiatives here.

And if you are overcome with infertility-related sadness and stress as the holiday season is approaching, please let us help you.

In an effort to increase public awareness of infertility before the special stress of the winter holiday season hits those who are suffering in silence, Long Island IVF is sponsoring the second annual Coming Out Infertile Day with “The Reveal: A Coming Out Infertile Workshop” on November 17th from 6:30-8:00 pm at our Melville office.

This free workshop will be led by our own Mind-Body Medicine expert and psychologist, Bina Benisch, MS, RN, who specializes in counseling infertility patients and will focus on helping infertile people work through the obstacles that may be preventing them from coming out to their family and friends. The focus is to help those who would like to “come out” to do so in a way that’s right for them, so they can get the support they need. All are welcome. Pre- registration is required here. Like our Facebook page or Coming Out Infertile Day page for information on how to join the social media movement on Nov 17 to come out infertile with one easy graphic and one click-again for those who are ready to do so.

Now, go ahead and vote!

*Barbara Collura, RESOLVE

 

 

 

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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 29: Why the Wyden Bill Does Not Support Fertility Patients

By David Kreiner MD

November 3rd, 2013 at 11:20 am

 

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Twenty-Nine: Why the Wyden Bill Does Not Support Fertility Patients. You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.longislandivf.com/?p=138

Why “The Wyden Bill” Does Not Support Infertility Patients

 

IVF results subjected to government audit were mandated to be reported with the passage of the “Wyden bill”.   The intent of the CDC and national reproductive society (SART) was to assist infertility patients by informing them of the relative success of all IVF programs in the country. 

 

Unfortunately, what sometimes creates the best statistical results is not always in the best interest of the mother, child, family and society.  Now that prospective parents are comparing pregnancy rates between programs there is a competitive pressure on these programs to reports the best possible rates.   Sounds good…unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way for the following reasons.

 

Patients with diminished ovarian reserve, who are older or for any number of reasons have a reduced chance for success, have a hard time convincing some programs to let them go for a retrieval.  In 2008, we reported our success, 15% with patients who stimulated with three or fewer follicles.  Sounds low and in fact many of these patients were turned away by other IVF programs in our area.  However, for those families created as a result of their IVF, these “miracle” babies are a treasure that they otherwise… if not for our program giving them their chance… would never have been born.

 

Another unfortunate circumstance of featuring live birth rate per transfer as the gold standard for comparison is that it pressures programs to transfer multiple embryos thereby increasing the number of high risk multiple pregnancies created.  This is not just a burden placed on the patient for their own medical and social reasons but these multiple pregnancies add additional financial costs that are covered by society by increasing costs of health insurance as well as the cost of raising an increased number of handicapped children.

 

William Petok, the Chair of the American Fertility Association’s Education Committee reported on the alternative Single-Embryo Transfer (SET) “Single Embryo Transfer:  Why Not Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket?”.  He stated in November 2008, that although multiple rather than single-embryo transfer for IVF is less expensive in the short run, the risk of costly complications is much greater.  Universal adaptation of SET cost patients an extra $100 million to achieve the same pregnancy rates as multiple transfers, but this approach would save a total of $1 billion in healthcare costs.

 

We have offered SET since 2006 with the incentive of free cryopreservation, storage for a year and now a three for one deal for the frozen embryo transfers within the year in an effort to drive patients to the safer SET alternative. 

 

If we are going to report pregnancy rates with IVF as is required by the Wyden Bill, let us put all programs on the same playing field by enforcing the number of embryos to be transferred and even promoting minimal stimulation IVF for good prognosis patients.  The Wyden Bill without the teeth to regulate such things as the number of embryos transferred and reporting success per embryo transfer does more harm than good.  Let us promote safer alternatives and report in terms of live birth rate per stimulation and retrieval, including frozen embryo transfers, so that there is a better understanding of the success of a cycle without increasing risks and costs from multiples.

 

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Was this helpful in answering your questions about the Wyden Bill, IVF success rates and reporting requirements, and SET?

Please share your thoughts about this podcast here. And ask any questions and Dr. Kreiner will answer them.

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Legalizing Compensated Gestational Carriers in New York

By Tracey Minella

June 6th, 2013 at 9:31 pm

 

credit: Peter Griffin/publicdomainpictures.net

 

For twenty-five years, Long Island IVF has been involved in ground-breaking moments in infertility… from the time it brought Long Island its first IVF baby, first FET baby, and first donor egg baby until today.

This past winter, Long Island IVF, in conjunction with RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, hosted a Town Hall event at its Melville location, inviting local politicians, patients, and the interested public to support the passage of then-pending legislation known as The Family Act, which sought to provide a federal tax credit to infertile couples in excess of $13,000.00 to offset the costs of infertility treatment. This was the only event of its kind in the New York Metropolitan area and featured popular and respected fertility advocate and reproductive law attorney, Amy Demma, as a guest speaker.

Now we’re answering another advocacy call to action and hope we have your support as well. This time we are supporting the pending Child Parent Security Act (A 6701/S 4617), described by RESOLVE as “a bill which will amend the Family Court Act and Domestic Relations Law to correct a gap in the law regarding children born through assisted reproduction. The goal of the legislation is to provide legal certainty, and therefore security, to the children conceived through these technologies”.

Although compensated gestational carrier arrangements are currently illegal in New York that doesn’t mean you can’t have someone carry a baby for you or that you can’t use Long Island IVF to treat you. But it does mean that if you are infertile, live in New York, and need to find and compensate another woman (a gestational carrier/surrogate) to carry your baby for you, you currently have to look outside of New York for her. This new legislation seeks to change that.

Infertility is stressful enough without the added angst and expensive of having to look beyond New York State lines for any of your family-building needs. Sadly, this obstacle has been the final stop for many couple’s infertility journeys.

Patients interested in pursuing family-building through the use of a surrogate/gestational carrier should discuss their options with their Long Island IVF physician or contact Long Island IVF’s Donor Egg Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Vicky Loveland, R.N. for more information at victoria@longislandivf.com. She helps patients understand and navigate all of the available donor-assisted family-building options.

Please join us and support RESOLVE’s movement to legalize compensated gestational carrier agreements in New York State. Be a part of removing yet another potential obstacle to family-building here in our own backyard. The family you help build may be your own… or your neighbor’s… since RESOLVE reports there are over 430,000 New Yorkers suffering from infertility.

If you are a New Yorker, please click on the link to access RESOLVE’s easy, automatic email letter to your elected officials and fill in the few blanks. http://bit.ly/13dl2uD. That’s all there is to it!

Get loud, New York! And stay tuned for updates.

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Will/did you join the movement and send the letter to your officials? Would this legislation’s passage affect your infertility treatment plan?

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