“It’s really all about relationship building.”
Those are words you’ll hear repeatedly when you talk to the fertility specialists and staff at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut. Our practice and philosophy are based on providing compassionate care, cutting edge technology and hope to those dealing with infertility.
It all begins with your initial contact with our professional staff and fertility specialists, which we have streamlined so we can cover a lot of ground in a relatively short period of time. Our goal is that after you spend a few hours with us you’ll go home with a comprehensive overview of what lies ahead on your path to fertility.
Your first visit will be scheduled by Carmen Ramos, our bilingual new patient liaison. She’ll guide you through the necessary steps to make sure that we have all the information we need before your first appointment. This includes basic identification, including medical insurance coverage and medical records. Carmen’s goal is to build a comfortable rapport with all new patients so that they’ll feel more confident walking into our clinic for the first time.
“Some of them are very comfortable, and others are a little anxious because they’ve been trying to have a child for a long time and they want a second opinion,” says Carmen, who not only answers patients’ questions by the phone but also carries on email correspondence with them as necessary. “I usually end up talking to them quite a few times before they come in, making sure that they get all their paperwork in and calling to remind them of their appointment.”
When you come in for your first visit, plan on spending at least two hours with us. During that time you’ll meet with your Patient Care Team: your fertility specialist, assigned nurse, patient care coordinator and financial services representative.
The first hour or so of your visit will be spent with your fertility specialist, one of our six board-certified reproductive endocrinologists. This is an in depth session during which your doctor will go over your medical and fertility history and perform a physical and ultrasound examination before deciding on a comprehensive fertility treatment plan.
“We do a diagnostic cycle first on almost every patient because the insurance companies are requiring that,” notes RMACT Executive Director Robin Mangieri. “Generally that includes semen analysis, a uterine evaluation and blood work. To make sure that the patient is not wasting time, we try to get those things done during the diagnostic cycle so we’re not giving the insurance company any reason to deny the claim.
After your consultation with your doctor, you’ll meet with your primary nurse and patient care coordinator, who both work closely with your doctor to make sure that your fertility treatment plan is implemented.
All of our nurses specialize in fertility and provide personalized care to their patients. Your nurse reviews your options with you, explaining the different medications, workups, protocols and testing that your doctor has ordered and why they’re important, as well as a timeline of what needs to happen and when.
“First we get a feel for the patient to see if she’s overwhelmed because she’s been here about an hour-and-a-half by that point,” explains Nurse Manager Monica Moore, a nurse practitioner. “Some people can’t take another minute of it, so we give them a packet of information and explain the next step and they go home to review it. Other people are ready to get started and want to know everything, so we go over what the doctor told them, give them their plan of care and get started on the first diagnostic cycle.”
The nurse answers any medical questions the patient may have and follows up with a phone call later in the week.
Your patient care coordinator is part of the non-clinical staff and will be your primary contact at RMACT throughout the treatment cycle, scheduling all necessary tests, appointments and surgery, and coordinating with your physician and nurse to ensure that your cycle progresses as smoothly as possible.
“There’s a lot of administrative work that gets done behind the scenes, and we help the doctors and nurses with that,” says Patient Services Manager Cori Cooper. “We’re a resource for the patient, and we want her to feel that she’s supported throughout the process, that she’s not just a number, and that she’s heard.”
Your patient care coordinator may suggest additional complementary care services offered at RMACT, including support groups and nutrition counseling, and she’ll introduce you to the staff at the front desk, ensuring a warm welcome on subsequent visits.
Your last stop on your first visit will be with your financial services representative. Using your treatment plan and the medical insurance information you provided earlier, she will have already reviewed your insurance benefits, calculated the cost of the services you’re scheduled to receive and secured the preauthorization required to move forward with your treatment. She will also go over various payment options, including financing, that are available to you.
Finance Manager Natesha Lane says the overview is comprehensive. “We review their benefits and discuss with them what’s covered under their plan, any type of co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles, what they’re responsible for out of pocket, our financial policies regarding refunds and when payment is due,” she elaborates. “We hold the patient’s hand from through the whole process from start to finish so there’s never going to be a time where questions go unanswered. We resolve every issue the patient may have in regards to billing.”
By the end of your first appointment, you may feel somewhat overwhelmed, but you should have all the information you need about the treatment that lies ahead. If you don’t, you’ll know who to contact to get the answers and guidance you need.
“What’s nice about this practice is that all of our doctors and staff have come from larger centers, so we’ve considered the good and the bad of what that feels like and tried to bring the good experiences here,” concludes Robin Mangieri. “We really care about the patient experience, and we think that makes a big difference. Everything we do is focused on that.”
Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut – We’re here for you every step of the way on your path to fertility.
Contact us to schedule your first visit.