Describe your experience with Boston IVF - Albany Center.
At the time I was treated the Albany clinic was undergoing some upheaval while transitioning to becoming part of Boston IVF. I felt the coordination of care and tailoring of treatment was poor, but this may have changed.
Monitoring visits started at 7am so I was often able to get in without missing any time at work.
The financial side of things was frustrating. I did not have any insurance coverage except for diagnostic testing and often received conflicting information from different staff members on how much to pay and whether I needed to pay upfront or wait for a claim to be processed by insurance.
They have a clean-looking practice with reasonably up to date equipment such as the ultrasound machines. It looks similar to any other doctor's office.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
I saw the actual doctor very little. I ostensibly had a nurse coordinator but she was often out during my treatment cycles and I was bounced around to other nurses to get answers. By the end of the 7 IUI cycles I pursued I did not feel like treatment had been very tailored for me- after several failures little was done to adjust my protocol. Staff were reluctant to switch me from Femara to Clomid, told me injectables were not a good option since monitoring showed I was responding already. They refused changes such as trying a different trigger timing or two IUI in one cycle, telling me that it was not necessary, while not offering a satisfying explanation for my continued failed cycles (other than "chances are worse with frozen donor sperm" which they did not emphasize up front). I felt like the like the doctor and nurses continued to inflate my chances. I didn't totally feel like a number as on paper treatment was appropriate, but felt the staff could have had better bedside manner and could have helped me avoid more failed treatment by being more realistic about my chance for IUI vs IVF.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
I was assigned a coordinator but she was out of the office during at least part of the cycle for the majority of my cycles so I struggled to get information from other staff.
The nursing staff were polite and professional, but I felt coordination could have been improved. Most of the time the nurses I saw did not have any time to familiarize themselves with my record ahead of time, so while they always attempted to answer questions they were often not able to really tailor answers.
Bloodwork and ultrasound were done by separate staff members so I sometimes had to wait additional time for one or the other.
The practice had an online patient portal but did not really use it. I was generally able to reach nurses by phone within a few hours but occasionally had to bug them for results.
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Lost paperwork
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to send your chart to another clinic
- Provided conflicting information
How was your experience with Sonia Elguero?
I only met with Dr. Elguero a few times (initially met with a different doctor who was temporarily handling the practice). She was nice but not extraordinary. She was not as familiar with my history at our visits as I would have liked and she seemed to have a standard educational "spiel" that she gave me when we got to the point of her explaining and recommending moving on to IVF. During my IUI cycles I did not really communicate with her and the nursing staff seemed to run the show, so I feel that I can't evaluate Dr. Elguero very well as she was so uninvolved in my treatment.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Sonia Elguero?
Ask lots of questions and clarify your next steps so you are not left waiting.
Describe the protocols Sonia Elguero used in your cycles and their degree of success.
Medicated, monitored IUI 7x using frozen donor sperm. 6 Femara cycles, 1 Clomid cycle. Most cycles with HCG trigger and IUI 36h later, unless bloodwork/ultrasound indicated ovulation was occurring already by about CD16.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Sonia Elguero.
About $25k total - $6k for donor sperm, and then roughly $5k for testing and $14k for treatment with Albany IVF. Each IUI cycle was about $2000 total for multiple monitoring visits, sperm preparation and IUI. I had insurance coverage only for certain diagnostic testing and had a high-deductible plan so nearly all costs were out of pocket.