A National Survey of Men and Women with Infertility Revealed 40% Did Not Know They Could Go Directly to a Fertility Specialist without the Need to Obtain a Referral

Eric Levens, M.D., of Shady Grove Fertility’s Annandale, VA, office

The primary message we wish to convey to people trying to get pregnant is to seek a fertility assessment early in order to have the best chances of pregnancy. Identifying and treating potential problems early puts more time on your side.

Shady Grove Fertility, the largest fertility center in the nation, partnered with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association to host a national patient survey to better understand how patients access fertility treatment and ascertain if patients realize that, in the vast majority of cases, they can self-refer to a fertility specialist, rather than wait for a primary care physician to refer them.

Findings of the national survey of nearly 200 respondents revealed that approximately 40 percent of patients did not realize they could see a fertility specialist without the referral of an OB/GYN or primary care physician. With this information, Shady Grove Fertility hopes to raise awareness that couples who are trying to have a baby don’t need to wait, they can take action into their own hands and schedule a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist directly.

“Patients are often surprised to learn that Shady Grove Fertility does not require a referral from an OB/GYN or primary physician to be seen by a reproductive endocrinologist in one of our offices. I should mention, while a referral is not needed to be seen by an SGF physician, some insurance providers do require a physician referral for reimbursement. For patients who are unsure if they need a referral, a general rule of thumb is the following: HMO plans from any provider, along with United Healthcare’s MDIPA and Optimum Choice and Kaiser, will likely require a referral in order for the consultation to be covered by insurance. Patients, in these cases, can receive a referral by simply calling their primary care physician or OB/GYN,” says Angela Tablada, Shady Grove Fertility’s Patient Financial Services Manager.

The MD Mandate also creates access for patients to seek fertility care. The Maryland Insurance Article Section 15-810, “Benefits for In Vitro Fertilization,” requires health and hospital insurance policies issued within the state…

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