Describe your experience with Midwest Fertility Specialists.
Weaknesses - This clinic is large and it was difficult for me to feel like the approach to my fertility issues was personalized. I felt like a number and that were just cranking people through. We developed some uncommon autoimmune issues resulting in recurrent losses and I had trouble getting anyone at the clinic to take a fresh look at our situation. They just kept pushing me to try IVF. We were able to conceive using ovulation induction/timed intercourse but couldn't maintain past 10 weeks.
Strengths - This clinic has open hours 7 days a week, which is convenient for scheduling midcycle scans. I feel like the weekend or on-call staff is definitely not in the loop with each particular patient though.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
Midwest Fertility is a very large practice. Specific appointments were required for simple blood draws. At my prior clinic, I could stop over for a blood draw at any time on a particular morning. When I would go in for midcycle ultrasounds, I rarely had the same ultrasound tech and the measurements varied wildly between techs, which was frustrating. The staff didn't know my name. The check out person always looked surprised/confused when I told her my name, even after going there for three consecutive treatment cycles. I always tell people that I liked Dr. Bopp but was very unhappy with the treatment at Midwest.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
Dr. Bopp's nurse was a frustrating part of my experience at Midwest Fertility. She laid out the protocol at the beginning of the cycle and I felt like she was resistant to any adjustments in doses along the way or monitoring earlier and more frequently. I felt like she made a lot of decisions instead of consulting with Dr. Bopp and frankly, I didn't trust her judgment.
The ultrasound techs who did the mid-cycle scans were inconsistent with the way follicles were measured. I rarely saw the same ultrasound tech during each treatment cycle. I felt like they tried to get patients in and out the doors as quickly as possible, without a personal connection or thorough review of their situation.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Lost appointments
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
- Provided conflicting information
- Failed to convey critical information
- Canceled a cycle due to clinic error
How was your experience with Bradford Bopp?
Dr. Bopp is one of the warmest and caring doctors that you'll ever meet. He gave me a hug at our first appointment with him. I really like him as a person and it's clear that he really cares for his patients.
He is very intelligent and intellectually curious. I went to him essentially for a second opinion after developing a recurrent loss issue that I suspected was due to immune factors. We had a really good conversation about where he stood on the immune protocol and whether he would be willing to coordinate remotely with a RI.
I really loved working with Dr. Bopp. My frustrations and disappointment came after dealing with the staff and the clinic.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Bradford Bopp?
Go in with written questions. Dr. Bopp is a good listener and will ease the mind of someone who is feeling anxious about the process. He is so warm, so caring, and empathetic.
Describe the protocols Bradford Bopp used in your cycles and their degree of success.
Dr. Bopp used medication for ovulation induction since he felt that my primary issue was PCOS. We did low dose aspirin, Metformin (insulin resistance factor of PCOS even though my BMI is lower than normal), Letrozole, Follistim, and Ovidrel for the trigger. We did timed intercourse at home.
I felt that Midwest/Dr. Bopp was not good at figuring out the right dose of Follistim to get my body to respond well. I saw Dr. Bopp after 9 previous induction cycles using Bravelle, which worked well for me under the care of another RE. Under Dr. Bopp's care (essentially, his head nurse), I didn't have as many ultrasound scans during the middle part of the cycle to gauge development, so my meds weren't adjusted as frequently as they were with a previous RE. As a result, we ended up with cancelled cycles due to under or over response, which was frustrating. I felt like it was due to a lack of appropriate or frequent monitoring, which is what I was used to at a prior clinic.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Bradford Bopp.
Midwest didn't bill anything to my insurance because "my policy didn't have infertility benefits". My insurance was the same as it was when I visited a different clinic but my costs were so much more through Midwest. The other clinic billed blood work and ultrasounds as medical procedures to my insurance, so many of them were covered. Midwest charged everything to me and was unwilling to submit to insurance.
For example, blood work for progesterone and estradiol levels aren't specifically infertility related, as an OB or general practitioner can run those tests for general health problems. I felt like we were getting 'nickel and dimed' for every little thing through Midwest when that hadn't been my experience at the prior clinic for six fertility cycles.
Also, Midwest makes the patient choose between paying for each service directly or buying a plan for that cycle. It's very difficult to determine which way would be less expensive because of the unpredictable way they mismanaged each cycle. For example, during one cycle, I had 9 midcycle ultrasound scans. The next cycle, they only did 1 midcycle scan. The plan option essentially was a good deal if there more than 4 ultrasound scans, but it was impossible to know how many scans would be needed for each cycle.
In my opinion, the billing staff was unsympathetic and did a poor job of explaining the options for billing. Every time I had an appointment there, I had to pay at least $250 for whatever service. That was different than my experience at a previous clinic.