Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Evil in San Diego

Well, I have officially ruled out San Diego Fertility Center. Those people are money grubbing crooks who care far more about their bentleys and La Jolla mansions than they do about helping people start families. They have told me that they will not give me a breakdown of fees so that I can submit my own claims to my insurance company. The best they can do is offer a $2500 discount off their cash price. WTF!!! I can't believe this is even legal. Here is my response to them. I'm actually quite proud of it.

Hi Kim,

Thank you again for getting back to me. Unfortunately…and I realize you do not make the rules…but that is unacceptable considering I have 80% coverage on both IVF and IVF with DE. There is so much controversy about whether or not insurers should cover fertility treatments and whether or not employers should add it to their plans, but with policies such as what you are describing, it does not matter if you have insurance coverage or not. I have been both a self-pay patient and a covered patient…as such I was beyond thrilled when I was able to acquire IVF coverage. Then to find out that the top clinics make it nearly impossible to take full advantage of insurance coverage is nothing short of devastating. Frankly, I think at best it’s unethical and well, actually pretty despicable. I would think that with the amount of money fertility clinics make on self-pay patients, they would not feel the need to prey on the few that have insurance coverage. At least CCRM has the decency to allow you to submit your own claims to your insurance, so that patients with coverage can take advantage of their out-of-network benefits.

This process is a gut wrenching, emotionally debilitating, sea of grief and panic that I would not wish on anyone. Needless to say, we will not be able to use your services. I am very disappointed as I am sure you are well aware of your reputation, but we are not millionaires. We are just a desperate couple who find themselves in the crappy position of needing help to start a family…something that most people take for granted. The fact that I even have to consider donor eggs at 38 years old is bad enough without being told that I cannot go to a top clinic that is clearly listed in Blue Cross’ member directory.

I would appreciate if it you would forward my thoughts to your decision makers and/or physicians. They need to know how these types of policies affect the very people they have promised to help. I believe that promise is called the Hypocratic Oath? I guess it doesn’t mean much when there are thousands of dollars to be made. Thank you for your time.


Infertile Myrtle

Monday, August 2, 2010

Moving On

It's been over a week since my conversation with Dr. Schoolcraft. He didn't say anything I didn't expect, but it still stung when he said that I need to move on to donor eggs. I have been feeling pretty sorry for myself and had a good cry (or two). I had to put on a brave face this last Saturday, as I had to travel to CA to attend a good friend's bridal shower. All in all, it was not that bad, but I had emailed everyone beforehand to give them my update, so I did get some of those "looks." And I got a couple of sympathy hugs. Glad it's over.

So in the midst of all this self-pity, I did manage to contact some clinics to get info on egg donor programs. My goal was to find a clinic with good DE success rates and that accepted our insurance as "in-network." As I mentioned in a previous post, many clinics nowadays are separating out the labs so that the lab is not contracted with any insurance, but the "clinic" is. So I have narrowed my search down to Pac NW Fertility and Fertiliy of Las Vegas. They both claim a success rate of 77% for 2009, but not all of those women have given birth yet, so I'm not sure how meaningful that number is.

Our time line goal is to have a transfer mid-Nov, but it all depends on if we get matched to a donor in time. I figure we have about a month to get it nailed down in order to have a November transfer. We want to do in November because I want to have a urologist on call to do a TESE on DH in case we don't have enough sperm in the 6 vials of testicular tissue we have. His urologist wants us to wait 6 months from the last surgery. So that's where we're at.

Of course, we do still have those 3 frozen eggs in LA. We will obviously try to fertilize those as well, but I'm not pinning my hopes on them fertilizing and implanting. Regardless, I would like to be pregnant by Christmas. I do not want to face all of my family unless I have something good to report.