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Patient Update – COVID-19

06 May 2020

Dear PFCLA Patients,

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a constantly-evolving situation affecting the United States and the international community. We want our patients to feel confident that we are closely monitoring all developments and adhering to recommendations from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and local and state health agencies. We understand that our patients may have questions about how this affects their treatments, how we are helping to minimize the spread of the disease, and how our operations may change during this unique time. We are committed to the health and safety of our patients and staff. Rest assured, we are also committed to providing services to our patients so that they can safely continue their fertility journey.

We have been actively monitoring all developments related to COVID-19 in the Los Angeles area. As always, our top priority is the health and safety of our patients and staff. We have implemented recommendations from the CDC, the state and local Departments of Health, ASRM, and our own experienced clinical and laboratory team.

If you or anyone in your household is currently exhibiting flu-like symptoms (cold, fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath), please seek treatment from your primary care provider. If you have difficulty breathing, please go to the nearest Emergency Department.

Please be advised that all patients entering Pacific Fertility Center will be screened related to current health, travel history, and COVID-19 exposure. If you are already experiencing flu-like symptoms or have recently traveled to a high risk country and you are currently in treatment or are scheduled to come in for an appointment or procedure, we ask that you call our office immediately to discuss your options.

We want you to know that we are still treating patients, and we are also offering telemedicine appointments for all consults that do not require an in-office exam. Preparing for treatment during the best of times can take 4-6 weeks, and we are committed to helping our patients through this prep-period so as to not delay treatment any longer than necessary.

What does this mean for existing Patients?

We encourage you to reach out to your care team to schedule an appointment. We can work with you to determine your pre-treatment options and build a timeline for next steps.

What does this mean for new patients?

PFCLA remains open to new patients during the Shelter-in-Place order. Our physicians and clinical care team are dedicated to helping our patients continue to prepare for their fertility treatments during this time. We will conduct new patient consults via telephone or video conferencing. We will resume regular office visits when we are able to, in accordance with local and state guidelines.

Why would I start my fertility treatment remotely? 

Many patients do not realize that it can take several weeks to prepare for a treatment cycle even during ideal conditions. Most of the consults and testing required can be accomplished safely from your home. Our care team is online and ready to assist you every step of the way.

What about ultrasound, semen analysis, and bloodwork? 

Your clinical team will work with you to choose the best option for blood work and diagnostic testing.

  • We offer a targeted ultrasound with one of our doctors.*
  • We offer semen analysis.*
  • We can order hormone testing:
    • 1. You can take a quick trip to one of our offices or go to a lab draw location near your home.
    • 2. For patients interested in genetic testing, we can connect you with a specialist.

What other appointments do I need? 

After testing is complete, your physician will set up an additional virtual consult to review your personalized treatment plan. Your care team, including our clinical and financial coordinators, will set up time to walk you through the details of your care plan and assist you with understanding the financial impact, including how to best utilize your fertility benefits. We have Genetic Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapist referrals available for remote consults. Complimentary genetic counseling is available to couples who are doing cycle treatment.

We are currently initiating a safe and controlled re-start of all treatment cycles. Patients undergoing the following cycle types may be able to begin treatment at the onset of their next menses:

  • IVF for Embryo Creation (Freeze All, PGT-A)
  • Egg Freezing
  • Oocyte Thaw for Embryo Creation
  • Frozen Donor Egg for Embryo Creation

To protect the safety of our patients and staff, we are observing many social distancing measures onsite. As such, we have implemented a gradual re-start of treatment cycles to regulate the number of individuals onsite each day.

Many patients who experienced cycle disruption due to COVID-19 have already spoken with our Clinical Coordinator team to discuss cycle start timing. If you have not yet spoken to your Coordinator, and if you wish to initiate one of the above cycle types within the next two (2) months, please contact us at 310-209-7700. Our team will review your protocol, medications, and pre-cycle checklist. You will also speak with a clinical team member to assess your current health and identify any final updates required for your pre-cycle checklist.

Moving forward, we request that all patients call the office on Day 1 of their menses. Please contact your Care Team directly or call our office at the number 310-919-2669.

Our physician leadership team meets regularly to evaluate the safe start of all cycle types. This timeline may be subject to change based on conditions and recommendations from ASRM, ACOG and the CDC.

Onsite Safety Protocol Updates

We have made extensive changes to our safety protocols to ensure that our patients and staff remain safe while receiving treatment at PFCLA. Additionally, before undergoing treatment, patients must sign a consent form regarding the risks associated with Covid-19.

The most noticeable changes to our facility are:

  • Face Masks: We require that all of our patients please wear face protection at all times while visiting our clinic. We also recommend wearing face protection on your travel to and from the clinic (cloth masks are acceptable). If you are given a mask at PFCLA, please use this mask for all future visits.

  • Screening upon Entry: To protect our patients, our staff, and our current (and future!) families, every individual entering the clinic will be required to pass a temperature screening, and will be screened for COVID-19 related symptoms and risk factors. We regret the necessity of this intrusion upon your time. Patients undergoing procedures will be tested for COVID-19 in advance.

  • Guest Policy: In observance of social distancing and to minimize the number of individuals onsite, only the scheduled patient will be admitted to the facility. All patients entering the clinic must do so without any visitors present. Children are not permitted onsite. We apologize for any inconvenience, however we are committed to protecting the safety of our patients and staff by limiting the number of individuals in our space.

The Dream Promotion

Turn your dream into a planPFCLA has crafted the Dream Promo to help intended parents take a step towards their dreams of a family. From now through June 30, 2020 the Dream Promo provides discounted pricing on IVF, embryo freezing and egg freezing for savings between $3,000 - $21,000. Initial consults are $200, which is credited to your deposit when you move forward with treatment. 

Please note that our policies and procedures are subject to change. We are constantly reevaluating our protocols as the COVID-19 situation develops.

Note: This is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information provided is for general educational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. Speak to your doctor directly with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any information contained herein does not replace any care plan as determined by a physician. 

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