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The Shared IVF Success Program at InVia Fertility (SISP). Ethical issues and controversies related to a 100 percent money back guarantee IVF program. Part II

SISP is offered at InVia Fertility specialists as a “warranty". Initially, SISP patients pay a higher fee (180% of our regular “cash-pay” fee). If a SISP patient achieves an ongoing pregnancy or delivery, we keep the entire fee. If treatment fails, however, 100% of the fee is returned. This can be a wonderful option for patients who do not have insurance coverage for IVF treatment. Details of the program were discussed in my previous blog.

According to the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, “Such programs have been criticized as being exploitative, misleading, and contrary to long-standing professional norms against charging contingent fees for medical services. Proponents, on the other hand, argue that this form of payment is a legitimate response to the lack of health insurance coverage for IVF and to patient concerns about the high cost and substantial risk of IVF failure. If IVF fails in these programs, the patient is still left with resources to pursue other options such as adoption”.

The Committee weighed the pros and cons and concluded that “such plans are in principle ethically acceptable, but that great care is needed in their implementation to ensure that patients are fully aware of the advantages and disadvantages of shared-risk programs, including the likelihood of success, the costs that are not covered, and the incentives that providers offering this plan have to take risks to assure success”.

The Committee found that shared-risk programs may be viewed as a form of insurance against the risk of failure of IVF that might appeal to some couples seeking IVF. The appeal arises from the absence generally of health insurance coverage for IVF, and the loss which treatment failure causes couples who purchase IVF with their own funds. Although both insured and uninsured patients experience disappointment when a treatment cycle fails, those patients who have paid for IVF out of their own pocket have also paid a substantial financial cost.

The ethical concerns pertaining to shared-risk programs concern “transparency”, “appropriate medical care” and a “clearly defined outcome”. These have all been addressed when we planned the SISP and will be further discussed in my next blog.

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Victoria Mostov

Victoria Mostov

Victoria Mostov received her BA in Psychology from UCLA in 2002. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Victoria received her MBA from the prestigious Kellstadt School of Business at DePaul University. She has 14 years of experience working in health care management and has been with Invia Fertility

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