Describe your experience with Institute for Reproductive Medicine & Science at Saint Barnabas.
Waiting time is BAD - expected bloodwork at Livingston (weekends) and ultrasound b/w 6:30 and 7:30 but we rarely left before 8 am. Hoboken is very bad as well, Hoboken reception has trouble having their PC be switched at the time of the start of the shift, so you wait extra time to make a copayment as well. Hoboken reception is extremely slow. Hoboken manager on the floor is responcive on complaints, I've complained about the technicial and next time I had same technician but accompanies by some nurse, taking notes.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
Dr. Chen was very attentive during the sit down visits and took time to answer the questions. In between the communication was a bit lacking, the doctor only called to deliver negative pregnancy results and it was difficult to get a hold of her on the phone with questions.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
Please see my comments on the doctor
What specific things went wrong at this clinic?
- Failed to call in prescriptions to pharmacy
- Failed to call with results
- Failed to inform you of changes in protocol
How was your experience with Serena Chen?
The doctor is very nice and very detailed, though it's expected that you learn the process through on-line videos and some questions you know to ask only after the treatment is finished. E.g. we did 1 cycle of IVF and during the visit it was expected that the meds would change due to poor response first time. During next cycle I received prelim chart with the same dosages and no comment from the nurse/doc. It took me some time to force a nurse to give me chart of IVF with expected timing, procedures and dosages since she didn't want to make me feel that everything will go as expected. The billing is messy unless you control it, there are no paper bills coming in mail, if billing person is on vacation there is no communication between the person on vacation and replacement person. So at the start of one of my first IVF they forgot to get my authorization from insurance. With meds: sometimes the authorization for the medicine is not sent to the pharmacy and the other time the prescription should be changed due to wrong med name. As usual some nurses and docs doing ultrasound are nice, but there are a lot of them who are very rush and abrupt, 50% of time i got bruises after routine bloodwork . People on the phone are most of the time talk to you like they've never were trained to talk to the clients on the phone, never mind patients. The only professionally sounded people are on the general Livingston number and nurses on call. Technicians doing ultrasound usually are not very warm (especially there is one in Hoboken and one other patient in the room said that her experience was not warm as well) and they don't talk to you/your partner what they are doing at all. Even doctors who do the ultrasound are not commenting on what they see. Dr.Chen only does ultrasounds during the initial visits and never the ones during the cycles. More times than needed I felt as a number and as a part of the huge standard fertility factory that making standard protocols and not addressing my particular situation. Dr. Chen is nice, but overall experience with the facility is not making me feel welcomed.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Serena Chen?
Be prepared to control everything in the cycle, insist on getting the schedules, read a lot on-line, read other reviews. Be prepare to have it rough.
Describe the protocols Serena Chen used in your cycles and their degree of success.
IUIs were on chlomid, all looked very good, no problems with number of folluculs, but all 3 - negative. First IVF was on follistin 300 and menopur 150. Due to the planned facility shutdown, we had to time the next period and I was taking contraceptive meds. After that there was 1 follicul leftover and there were not enough of other so the cycle was cancelled. The doctor recommended the prep cycle, but i refused since i didn't know how my body will respond to extra meds and the studies show mixed results. The second cycle there is another leftover, and the meds added the ganorelix 150. the doctor recommends growth hormone (mixed studies), accupuncture and CoQ10 and Vit D (all - no proven medical results). Questions to doctor 1) what to do with leftover follicules - doctor recommend to do nothing, 2) the doctor never texted if I have an ovulation by my own - it's assumed that the meds provoke it.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Serena Chen.
it was round $2000 for IUIs and now with IVF - growth hormone alone is $2000, visits - $150