Patients seeking fertility care face numerous concerns and complicated decisions, such as finding the right physician. Selecting a clinic can be crucial, but patients often lack the right tools to evaluate their choices.
With only about 450 fertility clinics in the United States reporting to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 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 network, helping 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. In fact, just 39% of patients say success or delivery rates are their first priority when choosing an infertility provider – an added reason that insisting on excellence among providers is of peak importance.
Building a quality fertility provider network is just one consideration for a comprehensive fertility benefit. These four factors are equally crucial when ensuring members get the care that they need.