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Thread: A complicated question regarding IVF charges when transfers don't happen

  1. #1

    Default A complicated question regarding IVF charges when transfers don't happen

    A rather large and complicated question regarding clinic fees when things go wrong. At this point in time I'm just about angry enough with my clinic to walk away and start over with a new one.

    I've been through two stim cycles - with both, I developed OHSS and couldn't transfer. There were no refunds or credits on the cycle fee for those cycles.

    Just recently I've been through a FET where our last embryo stopped progressing after thaw so transfer didn't happen. We've got a letter from our clinic telling us that they are keeping part of our cycle fee in credit as transfer didn't happen, but there's no medicare rebate on the portion of the fee they consider to have been "used".

    Seriously ticked off right now - if the FET cycle had been dealt with like the stim cycles, we'd have been out of pocket approximately $100 as we have exceeded the medicare safety net limit. If we'd had a $545 credit on the stim cycles when transfer didn't happen, I'd feel less angry about this.

    So... at this point in time I feel like our clinic is screwing us over financially, and I'd like to find out whether this is normal and what has happened to people in either of these situations with other clinics. Particularly other Sydney clinics.

    Never a good idea to make a pre-menstrual woman angry when she's already stressed enough about IVF fees!



    BW

  2. #2

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    BW, something similar happened when I had a failed thaw last year. I paid my FET cycle fee upfront. The embies didn't thaw and I received a refund cheque for about $250. The difference of about $550 was kept by them to cover blood tests, scans and the embryologists doing their thing. I was also in the situation where none of what I was out of pocket contributed to the safety net so we didn't get anything back from medicare at all on that cycle.
    I spoke to the clinic and to medicare because I didn't understand why I wasn't able to claim against the safety net, but the clinic just told me that's the way it is (obviously they weren't terribly helpful!). Medicare just said those item numbers weren't covered. I think I remember posting here about it. It stressed me out and I was really upset about it, but in the end I just had to let it go.
    Would be interesting to know if all clinics work this way too.
    Sorry I haven't been much help.....but now you know it has happened to someone else. :hugs:

  3. #3

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    Thanks, Megan. At least I know that part of it at least is normal. What's frustrating me is the way the cycles have been treated differently. If they'd given us a $545 credit on the two stim cycles then no problem. If they'd charged us the full cycle fee like before then also no problem, we can at least claim it back from medicare. It just feels like they are changing their rules to ensure that we have the worst possible outcome financially.

    BW

  4. #4

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    Hi BW

    My first stim cycle didn't result in a transfer because none of the embies survived - very poor fert rate. We got about $300 in credit and medicare covered the cycle which started us off for the safety net. The second time around we only had 3 eggs collected and went to transfer with one. We got a $100 credit because there wasn't as much ICSI required due to the low number of eggs. Both of those were with MIVF.

    It sounds like there needs to be some sort of industry code of practice with respect to charges and refunds. I understand your frustration and it is annoying when you pay for a service that you don't recieve, particularly for circumstances beyond your control!

    I hope that helps.
    xxx

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chez67 View Post
    It sounds like there needs to be some sort of industry code of practice with respect to charges and refunds. I understand your frustration and it is annoying when you pay for a service that you don't recieve, particularly for circumstances beyond your control!
    YES YES YES!!! great idea chez! BW i haven't been in your situation per se, but have been frustrated with clinics on several occasions for the way they charge, change their charges and the like. unexpected and unjustified increases, changes etc seem to be becoming the norm and we just expected to cop it - mostly because the Medicare Safety Net is expected to catch some of the extras but not always. i have rung the Dept of Health, Ombudsmen offices, Aust Competition and Consumer Commission with no luck. It seems the clinics decide for themselves on charges with little thought of the impact on us or even just plain old fashioned courtesy of consultation.

    I hear where you are coming from BW it makes my blood boil sometimes.

    *dusty gets down off her soapbox*

    i hope you get a better outcome hun.
    xx

  6. #6

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    I had my first stim cycle in Feb - not well enough to transfer. So we were entitled to a credit but we were also charged separately for Freezing which we knew about.

    The clinic (sydney ivf) rang and asked if it was okay to transfer the credit to the freeze charge. Thats was fine by me. Although I'm thinking about taking another look at the charges to make sure that the amount of our credit was correct.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly_warrior View Post
    Thanks, Megan. At least I know that part of it at least is normal. What's frustrating me is the way the cycles have been treated differently. If they'd given us a $545 credit on the two stim cycles then no problem. If they'd charged us the full cycle fee like before then also no problem, we can at least claim it back from medicare. It just feels like they are changing their rules to ensure that we have the worst possible outcome financially.

    BW
    BW, I completely understand where you're coming from. Our stim cycle where we ended up with no embies, was charges as a normal cycle. No refund from the clinic. We just received a refund from medicare for the safety net. Then it seems with a failed thaw, they change all the item numbers and you get nothing. Personally, I would prefer not to get the refund from them and put the full cycle fee through medicare towards my safety net. It's frustrating I know. I also think you should have to go back for a FET cycle when you only have one emby left. It's a lot of money to hand over when all your hopes are on one little emby surviving.

  8. #8

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    Hi BW

    I would definately say the clinic ripping you off!
    I was a little miffed when we didn't get any reimbursement or credit when we didn't make it to transfer because of OHSS. But then the clinic bulk billed us this FET because of the no transfer last time so was very happy. But also with their FET cycles you don't pay anything until the day of transfer and if you don't make it you don't pay anything. I found this to be much more reasonable.

    Have a chat with your FS about bulk billing the next cycle. Good luck hun!

    Shan

  9. #9

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    Shannon, that sounds like a good deal. I wish my clinic operated like that.
    If you dont make it to transfer on a fet cycle meaning you dont have to pay, does that mean clinic cover any blood tests or scans that you might have had?
    It's a shame I'm not in brisbane with the way my embies thaw!!

  10. #10

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    wow all i can say is im really being ripped off!!

    when our stim cycle tf was cancelled due to OHSS we didn't get anything back other than the Medicare cheque!!

    Our clinic said that they didn't refund or give discount prices due to no tf and we had to pay the full fee.

    i was so upset and now i see that a lot of you have been lucky enough to get something back

    i agree there should be something set up with regards to how your should be charged when a cycle is cancelled

    GL

  11. #11

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    ooops sorry Megan i missed your question, nope you don't have to pay for bloods but you do have to buy the pregnyl injections $60 and pay some specialist fees (she does the scans), though not the full transfer about just the consultancy and scan fees.

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