Describe your experience with REACH.
REACH has several good doctors with a lot of experience. Most lab results are provided same day, as the lab is in house. However, I feel like they have too many patients and have set policies/procedures that make patients feel like a numbers vs. an individual. Monitoring is usually not performed by your own doctor and there are extra fees called "cycle management fees" which are not billable to insurance even if you have insurance. It is hard to get financial questions answered, and the financial counselors often would not call me back unless they needed to collect money from me. Billing was a nightmare at REACH, I received several incorrect bills, and there was even an incident of my insurance company being charged for a visit with another patient.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
I rarely got to see my own physician for monitoring at REACH. This resulted in me having questions that either went unanswered or that I had to directly email Dr. Wing about. When I did call the nurses with a question, I often felt like my questions were not welcome. Additionally, REACH charges extra fees called "cycle management fees," which are not billable to insurance, even if the patient has insurance. Over the 4 years I was at REACH for treatment, the fees increased and were added to procedures that previously did not have cycle management fees. Despite the fact that I have paid every bill in a timely manner, I had an impromptu IUI which was scheduled by Dr. Wing canceled because the cycle management fee hadn't been paid (I only had two days notice and was waiting to see if insurance would pay for the IUI before I paid the extra fee). When I discussed this with the head financial person after the fact, she said they are not able to make an exception for me despite my history of prompt payment over the four years I have been a patient. This definitely made me feel like a number.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
Denise (non-IVF nurse) was awesome. She did a good job relaying information to me and going back to Dr. Wing when I had questions. Mary H. (IVF nurse) was a little more challenging to deal with. I felt like I had to stay on top of her to send prescriptions to my pharmacy, I felt like my questions were not always received well, and often times, she would have another nurse call me back (I'm assuming because she is the nurse manager and was busy, but I would've preferred consistency).
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Lost appointments
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to order appropriate test
- Canceled a cycle due to clinic error
How was your experience with Richard Wing?
Dr. Wing has a mountain of experience, which is invaluable when going through fertility treatment. He is a good surgeon - I had a successful hysteroscopy for a septate uterus as well as one egg retrieval with him. When I first started pursuing fertility treatment, the treatment plan was very clearly laid out. When cycles continued to be unsuccessful, Dr. Wing was actionable about moving to a different protocol or procedure altogether. After my first successful pregnancy, I resumed treatment with Dr. Wing when trying to conceive another child. However, FETs were not successful and I kept having allergic reactions to one of the medications used, but we could not figure out which one. After two failed cycles, I felt like Dr. Wing left more of the decisions up to us vs. what he recommended, which isn't necessarily what I want while navigating fertility treatment. There were two occasions where Dr. Wing was out of town for 2-3 consecutive weeks and I had something bad happen - an ectopic pregnancy requiring methotrexate and a chemical pregnancy after an FET. Both times, I felt like I was passed from doctor to doctor in the practice, at a time when I needed my doctor most. I provided that feedback to Dr. Wing, and he did try to make an effort to see me personally for monitoring (vs. sending me through the normal monitoring shop), which made me feel like he cared about me as a patient.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Richard Wing?
Dr. Wing doesn't have the best bedside manner, but if you can look past that and try to connect with him about anything, it will likely be worth it.
Describe the protocols Richard Wing used in your cycles and their degree of success.
My first cycle was letrozole only, but was cancelled because I did not respond and ovulated prematurely. My second and third cycles were letrozole + follistim + ovidrel + IUI + crinone and were both unsuccessful. My next cycle was a birth control + gonadotropin + ganirelix IVF cycle that resulted in retrieving 25 eggs and freezing 8 embryos. All embryos were frozen to prevent OHSS. My first frozen transfer (birth control + Lupron + estrogen patches + progesterone shots + crinone + doxycycline + medrol) was successful and resulted in a singleton pregnancy and live birth. A year and half later, my next transfer following the same protocol resulted in a negative pregnancy test and severe allergic reaction for me. Two months later, my next transfer (which eliminated crinone and used Cipro instead of doxycycline) resulted in a chemical pregnancy and another allergic reaction. I wanted to take time off from FETs and had one natural cycle IUI, which was not successful and then one injectable intercourse cycle, which resulted in pregnancy.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments.
I did not enjoy monitoring. I felt like a number and rarely got to see my own doctor.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Richard Wing.
Everything was billable to insurance according to my plan, except cycle management fees. These fees are $160 per cycle for ovulation induction and/or IUI, $600 for fresh IVF, $425 for a FET.