Video Transcription (Show)
Sarah Esdaile: As well as being devastating emotionally, IVF can cripple people financially.
Michael J. Levy, M.D.: But we have found ways with sharing eggs between two and three couples to make it more cost effective, and then we’ve addressed the biggest anxiety that most patients have, which is they are going to pursue a lot of treatment, spend a great deal of time and effort and money and not have anything in the end. And we have a unique shared risk program that allows them to have a fixed fee, very transparent – if they have a successful delivery, we’ve earned that fee. And if they don’t, then they can stop treatment at any time, they get 100% refund of those fees.
Sandra: Money back and IVF don’t normally go together in the same sentence.
Ian: I was hesitant because I couldn’t believe such a program exists.
Sarah Esdaile: And it sounds like a sort of horrible capitalist concept, sort of “a baby or your money back” – but actually what I found immensely reassuring about it is the business could not sustain if that didn’t work.
Michael J. Levy, M.D.: We are incredibly transparent, and we have been around for 24 years, we see ten thousand new patients a year. We know that for an initiated cycle, 42% of patients will deliver. And we know that given a certain number of cycles, about 85-90% will deliver, so we can price it exactly right.
Amanda Segal, International Patient Liaison: You’re getting the cost of IVF, the cost of prescreening the egg donor, the fee paid to the egg donor for her eggs and the medication costs for the egg donor, and when you take all four components and you package it together it gives you a lump sum, that allows you to know what you are going in for right up front. The money back program allows you to do this multiple times for a flat fee.
Catherine: You pay up front to have six treatments. If you did all these things separately, you just couldn’t afford it.
Sandra: So that was a reassuring that you didn’t think you were always looking for more money.
Jamie: You’ve got that incredible level of security to know – not that you ever want to have to fall back on it – that if it doesn’t work, it’s not going to cost you anything.
Catherine: If you feel that you can’t continue, whether it’s been too traumatic or you just feel that you’ve reached the end of the road, and you don’t want all those treatments, you get your money back.
Michael: The amount of confidence that these people have is extraordinary, then it was at that point that we thought we have to go for this.
Former SGF Patient: Because you put a lot of investment, both financial and emotional going into this, you want to believe that the person who is treating you or overseeing your treatment believes in it as well.
Michael J. Levy, M.D.: We know people are putting an enormous amount of faith in us, in terms of the effort, the travel, the expense, and we have many steps in place to make them comfortable. And most importantly, we want them to really get to know us before they have to make any financial commitment at all. So, Amanda Segal is our international donor liaison, is typically the first person in the US who they will talk to. She walks them through the whole program from A to Z. In addition, we have added Sarah Esdaille, who is a local UK liaison, who has great personal experience and insight into this, and we find that its very easy for our UK patients to talk to someone local. So I usually talk to them for about half an hour to go through their medical history, I’m going to give them very clear black and white information, as to the likelihood of them getting pregnant. At every point, we are there to support the patient, to pursue what is right for them, and to help them through that journey.