"We Make Families"- Blog

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

COVID-19 Update – March 18, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a constantly-evolving situation that is affecting the United States and the international community. We want our patients to feel confident that we are closely monitoring all developments and adhering to recommendations from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO),  local and state health agencies as well as our industry governing body the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). We understand that our patients may have questions about how this affects their treatments, how we are helping to minimize the spread of the disease, and how our business operations may change during this unique time. We are first and foremost committed to being advocates for our patients and helping you continue your fertility journey. 

Effective March 18, 2020 we will be offering telemedicine appointments for both new patient and follow-up consultations. We will also be rescheduling any cycle starts. Rest assured we are prepared and ready to proceed with fertility treatments as soon as possible. Our staff is reaching out to patients as quickly as possible to discuss your rescheduling options. 

Please be advised of the following updates:

Continuation of Fertility Treatment Cycles

At this time, we are proceeding with cycles for patients that are currently in stim under the directive of their physician. We will continue to provide a safe environment for the patients to be seen in our office during their treatment cycle. 

We are rescheduling appointments for anyone who was scheduled to start their cycle between now and March 30th or later as nationally recommended depending on local government shelter ordinances. This includes intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), in vitro fertilization (IVF) including retrievals and transfers (fresh and frozen). The decision to suspend all new treatment cycles was not made lightly and was made with the goal of keeping our patients and staff safe. We are committed to resuming treatment cycles as soon as possible. 

Refund Policy for Any Cycle Disruptions Due to COVID-19

Again, we are proceeding with cycles for patients that are currently in stim under the directive of their physician. If, during the course of a scheduled cycle, a patient begins to demonstrate symptoms of illness and/or has a confirmed exposure to COVID-19, the cycle may be delayed or cancelled subject to the discretion of our medical professionals. If it is determined that your cycle must be delayed or canceled due to COVID-19 related issues, we will issue a credit for medical expenses incurred from cycle start through cycle cancellation (minus medication expenses). Credit balances will be established on a case-by-case basis. We are not able to extend credit toward products or services provided by third parties (products or services provided by third parties include but not limited to medications, phlebotomy, anesthesia, genetic testing, tissue storage fees, etc).

Telemedicine Appointments

If you are not currently in a cycle, telemedicine consults will be the only option to consult with your physician until further notice. Please direct questions concerning insurance coverage or out-of-pocket expenses for these telemedicine options to our clinic staff.

While the COVID-19 situation can feel stressful and even a bit overwhelming we don't want it to delay your dream of having a child even longer than is safely necessary. There are many steps that can be accomplished through telemedicine appointments now. To help you continue your fertility journey beyond the new patient appointment, we are working on options to offer in home diagnostic testing. Our goal is to help you move forward in your fertility journey now so that as soon as we are able to resume normal patient care you are closer to achieving your family building dreams. 

Prevention & Treatment of COVID-19

For those patients that will still be coming in to complete their cycle, please be advised that any patients entering the clinic will be screened related to current health, travel history, and COVID-19 exposure. If you are already experiencing flu-like symptoms or have recently traveled to a high risk country and you are currently in treatment or are scheduled to come in for an appointment or procedure, we ask that you call our office immediately to discuss your options.  

Social Distancing – Single Guest Policy

Please be advised that, until further notice, our clinic is implementing a single guest policy. We suggest that all patients undergoing monitoring do so alone. Only one guest will be permitted to accompany any patient while onsite. Additionally, children and animals are not permitted in the office at this time. For the safety of our patients and staff, any individual who demonstrates a cough will be asked to leave the facility.  

Please review our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions below.

We are here to answer any specific questions you have. Please feel free to call our office to speak with one of our team members. We will continue to provide updates on our website and social media. We are honored you have chosen us to manage your care during your fertility journey and are here to help guide you.

Q: Does COVID-19 impact fertility?
Currently, there is no published data or information to suggest that COVID-19 impacts fertility.

Q: Should I delay seeing a fertility specialist or moving forward with fertility treatment in light of COVID-19?
Most individuals of reproductive age are not considered “high-risk” for COVID-19, and therefore it is not necessary to delay your new patient consult. We are offering telemedicine appointments for both new patient and follow-up consultations that do not require in-office examination. Scheduling this appointment now will push you further down the path to starting your family.  There are many steps that can be completed now through telemedicine appointments.

Q: Do you recommend that I postpone any attempt at getting pregnant until the virus is contained?
Please continue to review guidance from the CDC related to COVID-19 and pregnancy here. You may wish to delay pregnancy if you have traveled to high risk areas, been in close contact with someone who has traveled to high risk areas, or if you are feeling ill. If you think you might have been exposed to the virus, self-quarantining for 14 days after the last known exposure to the virus has been recommended by the CDC. If you are ill, have your primary care provider order a COVID-19 test from a commercial lab. The result will determine if you have an infection or are free of COVID-19.

Q: Are my eggs/embryos/sperm at risk of exposure to COVID-19?
No. Our laboratories are designed to specifications for complete containment of recombinant DNA. It has a positive pressure air handling system, HEPA filtration system, and maintains extremely rigorous cleaning and quality assurance protocols at all times. It is also located separately from areas where patients are seen for monitoring, appointments, examinations, or procedures. Our laboratory is CAP accredited and therefore adheres to all best practices for safety and infection prevention.

Q: What happens if I get exposed to COVID-19 during my IVF cycle?
If you demonstrate symptoms of COVID-19, or if you are confirmed to have COVID-19, your cycle will mostly likely be delayed or canceled. This decision is not made lightly, as we understand the impact of cycle cancellation on our patients and their fertility journeys. This decision will protect you (if your respiratory system is compromised due to infection, it is unsafe to undergo anesthesia, which further suppresses respiration), and will also protect thousands of patients and staff from potential exposure. If one of our providers determines that your cycle must be delayed or canceled due to COVID-19 illness-related issues, we will issue a credit balance in accordance with services rendered during the cycle. Credit balances will be established on a case-by-case basis. We are not able to extend credit toward products or services provided by third parties (products or services provided by third parties include but not limited to medications, phlebotomy, anesthesia, genetic testing, tissue storage fees, etc).

Q: Will my clinic shut down for a period of time?
No. We do not intend to shut down for any period of time. We have a team of clinical and administrative staff who are committed to providing the most effective care possible, in the safest environment possible. While the day to day practice might not look the same, there are many people behind the scenes still committed to helping you achieve your dream of having a family.    

Additional Resources
CDC guidelines for COVID-19: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

COVID-19 Update – March 16, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a constantly-evolving situation that is affecting the United States and the international community. We want our patients to feel confident that we are closely monitoring all developments and adhering to recommendations from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and local and state health agencies. We understand that our patients may have questions about how this affects their treatments, how we are helping to minimize the spread of the disease, and how our business operations may change during this unique time. We are committed to the health and safety of our patients and staff. Rest assured; we are also committed to providing services to our patients so that they can safely continue their fertility journey.

Prevention & Treatment of COVID-19

First and foremost, if you or anyone in your household is currently exhibiting flu-like symptoms (cold, fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath), please seek treatment from your primary care provider. If you have difficulty breathing, please go to the nearest Emergency Department.

Please be advised that all patients entering the clinic will be screened related to current health, travel history, and COVID-19 exposure. If you are already experiencing flu-like symptoms or have recently traveled to a high risk country and you are currently in treatment or are scheduled to come in for an appointment or procedure, we ask that you call our office immediately to discuss your options.

Social Distancing & Single Guest Policy

In an effort to best serve our patients and keep our staff safe, we are adhering to recommendations for “social distancing” by offering telemedicine appointments for both new patient consultations and follow-up visits that do not require in-office examination. Please direct questions concerning insurance coverage or out-of-pocket expenses for these telemedicine options to our clinic staff.
Please be advised that, until further notice, we are implementing a single guest policy. Only one guest will be permitted to accompany any patient while onsite. Additionally, children and animals will not be permitted in the office at this time. In an abundance of caution, visits from outside vendors or sales representative will not be allowed.

Continuation of Fertility Treatment Cycles

Most individuals of reproductive age are not considered “high-risk” for COVID-19, and therefore it is not necessary to delay your new patient consult or treatment cycle at this time.
Currently, we are proceeding with all cycles for patients who are in good health. We are continuing normal practice operations at this time. We will continue to monitor all directives from state and federal agencies. Any decisions will be made with the goal of keeping our patients and staff safe.

We also follow stringent guidelines on cleanliness and hygiene and have heightened our protocols to ensure a safe environment for our patients and staff.

Refund Policy for Any Cycle Disruptions Due to COVID-19

Again, we are currently proceeding with all cycles for patients who are in good health. If, during the course of a scheduled cycle, a patient begins to demonstrate symptoms of illness and/or has a confirmed exposure to COVID-19, the cycle may be delayed or cancelled subject to the discretion of our medical professionals. If, under the directive of your Physician, it is determined that your cycle must be delayed or canceled due to COVID-19-related issues, we will issue a credit for medical expenses incurred from cycle start through to cycle cancellation (minus medication expenses).

Please review our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions below.

We are here to answer any specific questions you have. Please feel free to call our office to speak with one of our team members. We will continue to provide updates on our website and social media. We are honored you have chosen us to manage your care during your fertility journey and are here to help guide you.

Q: Does COVID-19 impact fertility?
Currently, there is no published data or information to suggest that COVID-19 impacts fertility.

Q: Should I delay seeing a fertility specialist or moving forward with fertility treatment in light of COVID-19?
Most individuals of reproductive age are not considered “high-risk” for COVID-19, and therefore it is not necessary to delay your new patient consult or treatment cycle at this time. Our telemedicine appointments will allow you to have an initial consultation or continue on your journey with follow-up appointments in order to develop a treatment plan that can be followed through when you are ready.

Q: If I recently traveled abroad, will that impact when I start treatment?
We recommend waiting two weeks after traveling to areas with reported cases of COVID-19 to start your treatment. Please call our office to determine the appropriate next steps in your plan.

Q: Are my eggs/embryos/sperm at risk of exposure to COVID-19?
No. Our laboratory is designed to specifications for complete containment of recombinant DNA. It has a positive pressure air handling system, HEPA filtration system, and maintains extremely rigorous cleaning and quality assurance protocols at all times. It is also located separately from areas where patients are seen for monitoring, appointments, examinations, or procedures. Our laboratory is CAP accredited and therefore adheres to all best practices for safety and infection prevention.

Q: What should I do if I become sick with a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath?
If you develop a fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing, please seek care immediately.

  • Please seek treatment from your primary care provider.
  • Please inform the care provider of your symptoms and make the provider aware of any recent travel.
  • Ask the provider to order a COVID-19 test.
  • If you have difficulty breathing, please go to the nearest Emergency Department.
    • We recommend that you call ahead if possible so that appropriate safety precautions can be observed in the Emergency Room.
  • Please avoid contact with others. We all play a vital role in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • Please contact your Prelude Network clinic to make us aware of your illness.
    • Your Physician will collaborate with you to determine the appropriate next steps in your care plan.

Q: Will your clinic shut down for a period of time?
No. We do not intend to shut down for any period of time. We have a team of clinical and administrative staff who are committed to providing the most effective care possible, in the safest environment possible.

“As former fertility patients, Margaret and I understand how important a family is to you. As we watch the details of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) unfold, know that this situation doesn’t have to interrupt your dream. We want to reassure you - we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure a safe continuation of your treatment, including implementing opportunities for telemedicine, where appropriate. If you have questions, concerns, or just need encouragement, please call us–we’ll move through this together.” – TJ Farnsworth, Founder & CEO Inception (parent company to the Prelude Network)

“The Coronavirus pandemic is here and is affecting us all. We have been making preparations since the first reports in China, and its initial worldwide spread. We have initiated policies and procedures to protect our staff and patients, and are prepared to make any necessary changes to assure safety and good outcomes.” – James A. Grifo, MD, PhD, Program Director NYU Langone Prelude Fertility Center/Chief Executive Physician Inception Fertility

Resources:
CDC COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov

Posted on March 16th, 2020
Tags:

We make families. You make the memories. Let's make a plan together.

About LGBT Family BuildingAbout LGBT Family Building