A Low Cost IVF Procedure
IVF is a complex procedure that takes place over a two week time period. The patient uses expensive injectable medications. Optimal application of these medications requires frequent monitoring. The laboratory process requires meticulous attention to detail, embryologists with highly specialized training and expensive high tech equipment. IVF techniques are the most effective way to overcome a host of infertility problems. Unfortunately, someone has to pay for all this technology and specialized care. In most areas of medicine, patients obtain insurance which pays the cost of the necessary technology care that may be required to treat their medical problems. Infertility is different. Here, the patient pays for much or all of their IVF costs.
There is a great need for the development of a low cost or at least more affordable IVF process. We feel that there are a number of ways of making a more affordable IVF process. One of the problems to overcome is to change the way that medical procedures are billed. IVF is broken up into a large number of small procedures as defined by the American Medical Society procedure codes rather than billed at a package price. Billing for various IVF packages or parts of packages makes IVF more affordable since it places a ceiling on the charges for IVF. Without package pricing, a patient with a more difficult ovulation induction may end up being charged a vastly higher fee that most other patients. Package pricing enables patients to better predict the cost of IVF and to genuinely compare prices of different program. It leads to lower cost IVF, because some separately billed procedures (such as assisted hatching) may be done more frequently if the program has just invested in special equipment perform that procedure. Infertility Solutions, P. C. offers packaged pricing for all advanced technology procedures. Usually the packages are broken up so that the patient can still use her insurance to pay for parts of IVF if they are covered.
The point of IVF is to leave with a baby. However, every person is different and may not respond well to the same set of drugs. Some patients with infertility have it on the basis of producing a large percentage of eggs that are chromosomally abnormal. It may take more than one cycle to achieve pregnancy and we always encourage our patients to think in terms of more than one cycle. We make this a more affordable IVF opportunity by offering discounts for signing up for three cycles (always with the option to drop out). (link) Most patient take advantage of these low cost IVF cycles since if patients do get pregnant on the first cycle they will have gotten a discount off the regular package price for a single IVF cycle.
For some patients, the cost of an IVF cycle is not as much of an issue as the possibility of going through a number of cycles and not ending up with a baby. In the real world, not everyone gets pregnant no matter how good the technology is. For these patients, we offer a risk sharing program which is an insurance type of program. The couple decides to do three to six cycles and if they don't end up with a baby after completing the cycles, they get the IVF fees back. Full details are listed elsewhere on this website.
What makes us most unique in offering more affordable IVF procedures than most programs is having the low cost IVF procedures of IVM and Mini-stim IVF. IVM is a low cost IVF procedure because it generally does not require any injectable gonadotropins. This saves thousands of dollars that would need to be spent on medications and monitoring. The package price cost of IVM is about one-half that of traditional IVF.
Mini-stim IVF is another low cost IVF procedure. Some medications are used and there is some monitoring, but the laboratory process is much easier than with traditional IVF. The package price cost of Mini-stim IVF is about one-third the cost of traditional IVF.
IVM is not currently recommended for all patients, but for the approximate 50% of patient who qualify, it provides a more affordable IVF procedure with success rates similar to IVF.
Anyone could choose to do Mini-stim IVF as a low cost IVF alternative to traditional IVF. The success rates per cycle for Mini-stim IVF are estimated to be about half that of traditional IVF. This means that about 50% of women under age 35 will get pregnant after three cycle of Mini-stim IVF compared to about 80% of women under age 35 using traditional IVF for three cycles. Younger couples with male factor or tubal factor infertility may find that Mini-stim IVF is a markedly more affordable IVF approach to having a baby than is traditional IVF.