Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Feeling Better - Update On Fears *UPDATE

Thank you so much ladies! I agreed with all of you and your support really helped me not feel so crazy...

After I posted yesterday I emailed the manager at the clinic and expressed my concerns. I did include that we have appreciated the fact that the clinic has not made this all about money and their rules as the other clinic did in April. She answered all of my questions and re-sent me the fee schedule/contract for treatment. It did not include anything about their refund policy (there are policies in place which we agree with where we'd be refunded if the cycle is cancelled due to poor response or other reasons). After exchanging more emails, here is where we are at:

We got the total amount that we owe right now. We were also told that it will cost an additional $500 for them to freeze and store any embryos for one year. I still need to find out if we'll be refunded the $500 if there are no embryos to freeze or if they fail to freeze.

Also, I requested that they send us anything else that we'll need to sign, such as paperwork during the procedural parts of the cycle. We'd like to review them while we're somewhat lucid as we know that when we're in the middle of cycling we will likely be either out of it or super-stressed. Since we live hundreds of miles away, we want to be fully prepared as both our time is just as valuable as the clinic's time.

Finally, I asked for a contract or revision of the fee schedule to include the refund policy. I explained that the money we're paying them for this cycle is all that we have and we would feel comfortable having everything on paper (and not in email exchanges). I

'm expecting all of this to happen and for us to go through the cycle. However I will be requesting either an in-person meeting or a conference call with the people in charge regarding the process of becoming a new patient and the flow of the IVF cycle including meetings about billing policies and contract signings. Honestly they need to understand that the PATIENTS are the ones with "everything to lose" and they must realize that not only is our physical and emotional care important (which they treat extremely well) but our financial care must also be a priority. It has felt like they are trying not to inconvenience us whenever we visit by having us stay too long, but we travel there for the distinct purpose of getting everything taken care of that day. Imagine if we were flying there from a further distance? Why wouldn't we want to meet with everyone we could meet with while we were there?

Am I nuts ladies? Have I asked for too much? Do you think I'm out of line? Nobody has been rude or anything and I know they are trying to do what they can but it seems like their patient load has exponentially increased and they almost are too busy to cater to everyone now that they are so full of patients.

I emailed the only nurse they have yesterday because AF was starting to show up even though I'm on BCPs and I was worried about it; I asked if I should double-up on the pills. I still haven't gotten a response but I should call too. I just don't have time while at work and it's a cell phone/long-distance call...luckily it's just been cramping, nasty mood swings (I feel like a freakin' toddler because I was throwing mini-tantrums last night), and light pink/brown CM. So I didn't take 2 pills and I'm just chillin' with my pantiliners till something happens.

Overall we still love this clinic and want everything to go ahead as planned. We're 10-ish days from starting Lupron and I have all my meds ready to go. We just need to sign off on that check but we don't want to till the paperwork (the fee schedule with the refund policy at least) is done. And with a deadline of payment for the cycle plus the freezing/storage fee needing to be in prior to our first monitoring appointment (though it needs to be before the end of the year for our tax purposes), time is quickly running out for them to get this done. I really hope we don't have any bumps in the road.

*So I got impatient and called the clinic to speak with the business manager. I found out why we're so off-track: we thought there would be a meeting while we were in STL with the clinic regarding costs, contracts, etc. The business manager mistakenly thought we'd already had the meeting so she didn't set one up or have one with us last Monday when we were there. I never said anything about wanting a meeting because it seemed so busy and I got flustered. I hate seeming like the bitchy, demanding patient and I guess I figured that we'd have that discussion via phone or email as they were too busy last week and if it was important, they would have had us do it then, right? Right.

Well the manager and I discussed the "missing paperwork" and apparently we were supposed to have it already. She explained what was in the documents and what kind of contract-signing protocols they have, etc. She even went over embryo freezing and storage, and what happens after the first year. I agreed with all of their policies and rules she outlined for me. I just wanted to have the paperwork in my hands to read myself. She will be sending it all ASAP and was extremely apologetic. 

So I feel even better now; I emailed the update to DH who I'm sure will completely relax...though I've been the uptight one the whole time. Hmmm. As it stands now we just need get that paperwork and I believe she will be emailing me the fee schedule to sign and send into the clinic. We'll likely make our big payment by the end of this week or next Monday, plenty of time before the deadline.

I hope I can sleep tonight!


LisaB said...

Everything you want and need sounds very reasonable to me. Don't be afraid to come across firmly with them & get them to listen to you. You should be their priority and they need to accommodate you. They do work for you :)

I did bleed and spot on BCPs with my first IVF cycle. They told me it was normal. I've heard of other ladies who bled as well. As long as your ovaries are staying dormant, that's all that matters. :)

Good luck! We are sort of cycle buddies, even though I'm not on Lupron. I'll be just a little ahead of you.

Crossing My Fingers said...

OMG! This so sounds like me. I'm not sure if IF affects OCD people or IF makes us OCD people. You're spending a LOT of money and doing a LOT to your body so ask away. What clinic were did you try at in April?

Anonymous said...

It is good to hear that they are sending you the fee schedule and policy, hopefully everything you need to know. I don't think that you have asked too much. You deserve all the answers you need to make you feel comfortable. The clinic sounds very good, however I totally agree that they need to do more to support you with paper works and financial care. Please let them know everything you need from them, and get the best care you can get. I am glad that you have already gotten some answers for your concerns. I really am affected by your struggle and wishing you the best of luck. Thank you so much for your lovely words on my blog.

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