Patients seeking fertility care face numerous concerns and complicated decisions, such as finding the right physician. Selecting a provider can be crucial, but patients often lack the right tools to evaluate their choices.
Finding the right fertility clinic
With only about 500 fertility clinics in the United States, finding the right one can be a challenge. A well-designed fertility benefit can remove that worry by offering a vetted network with proven clinical effectiveness.
No matter the procedure, assisted reproduction requires specialized care. Crucial components to look for in a fertility provider network include:
- The ability to conduct complex lab tests throughout a patient’s journey. Tests can range from standard testing to establish the underlying cause of infertility to embryo testing, which ultimately reduces the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
- Affiliated embryology and andrology labs, for handling oocytes (eggs), sperm, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and early embryos.
- Preimplantation genetic testing for inherited diseases. This highly specialized process can be performed only at select labs.
In addition, clinics should be certified by the Federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) and voluntarily report detailed clinical metrics to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART).
Building a fertility provider network helps patients succeed
When determining whether a facility offers superior clinical outcomes, plan sponsors should examine these important metrics:
- The number and type of cycles performed
- The clinic’s success rate
- The clinic’s ability to perform a wide range of fertility services
Once added to a fertility network, clinics should provide detailed clinical outcomes, allowing the fertility plan to constantly collect and evaluate clinical effectiveness. This benefits plan sponsors and patients, who generally lack the knowledge to consider these factors. Clinic success rate and other outcomes data are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations, such as the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART).
Building a quality fertility provider network is just one consideration for a comprehensive fertility benefit. These four factors are equally crucial to ensure members get the care that they need.
Originally published on 9/15/21 and updated on 4/19/21.