IVF FOR $7000
This includes all exams, ultrasounds, egg retrieval, sperm injection, culture of embryos, and embryo transfer. It does not include embryo cryopreservation & storage, medications and possibly some lab tests.
Recently, it was calculated that approximately 125 IVF cases per 1 million residents are performed in the USA during the course of a year. In most of the major westernized countries in Europe, they are performing between 400 cases per one million residents.
The United States is treating just one-fourth of the cases that are done in these European countries! In the USA we are not taking care of our people.
Why? The answer is obvious.
IVF is not a covered medical treatment in most states, and many Americans can’t afford the treatments. Other countries have some form of coverage. With one in seven couples in the USA struggling to build their families, many people are left untreated and unhelped.
As the Founder of my own IVF clinic, I can confirm that it is expensive to acquire the materials and equipment needed to run and maintain an IVF laboratory, staff an IVF clinic, and maintain a state-of-the-art clinic in full compliance with all regulatory statutes. So how do you bring the cost down?
This is a battle I have been fighting for years; to bring down costs and I invite you to read an article about my efforts in Newsweek, 2010.
Here are some gimmicks put out by other programs to let you think you are getting a “value”.
Some clinics have tried what is called “shared risk programs”. That is where you pay for more than one round of IVF upfront and are given certain assurances that you will have a successful outcome. There are even promises or guarantees to return money if all attempts failed. We considered pursuing this at Fertility Partnership. On the one hand, there is something to be said about calming frightened couples with “guarantees” and opportunities to try more than once. What eventually dissuaded us from pursuing this practice is the simple fact that some of the companies that provide these services are actually publicly held, and annual profits are visible to the public, They are making millions of dollars of gains each year on the backs of struggling couples. This somehow seems too businesslike to us and not in the spirit of practicing medicine.
So what about Mini/Micro IVF? Unfortunately, it has not panned out. The published success rates are clear- Mini/Micro IVF is much less successful than traditional IVF. Yet some doctors (although not many) offer this, luring people into believing they are getting a good deal.
So what’s the answer? How do you lower the cost of in vitro fertilization?
The answer is by doing just that, lowering the cost of in vitro fertilization.
I believe that physicians need to lower their expectations of what they will ”earn” from each cycle and be prepared to provide treatment to the increased number of couples who will seek care as it becomes more affordable. We are only taking care of a fourth of the patients in the USA who require in vitro fertilization and all that goes with it. Clinics need to just lower their prices and roll up their sleeves to work harder and provide good care for more people.
THAT’S HOW WE DO IT!