As things are changing on a daily basis in Hawaii, and all over the world, we want to keep our patients as up to date as possible and we are here to answer your questions. Please use this list of Covid FAQ’s to help guide you during these challenging times. Our FIH ohana has all of you in our hearts. Please be safe and stay well. If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at 808-545-2800.
FAQs regarding COVID-19 for Fertility Institute of Hawaii Patients- April 26th, 2020
In these unprecedented and uncertain times, we would like our patients to know that we are here for you. We have modified our protocols to keep our office safe and allow us to provide you with all fertility services at this time. We have updated this list of frequently asked questions, and will continue to update it to be sure it remains relevant. This update replaces one we published on our website in March.
- What is the Fertility Institute of Hawaii doing to prevent COVID-19 infection in staff and patients?
We have implemented a number of protocols to help prevent COVID-19 transmission. These include:
- Limiting the number of patients in the office at one time
- Multiple scheduled wipe-downs of the office with germicidal spray
- Increasing the use of telehealth; in-person visits are limited to procedures and cases where telehealth is not possible
- Limiting the number of concurrent fertility treatment procedures
- Moving all large staff meetings to videoconferencing
- Taking temperatures of all staff when they enter the office and sending home any staff with a fever
- All patients are required to wear a mask to the office
- All staff are required to wear surgical masks during patients interactions
- Only patients are allowed in to the office; partners or other support members are asked to wait outside. Partners or support members may accompany patients for embryo transfer and obstetric ultrasound visits
- Taking temperature of all patients prior to their in-person visit; any patients with a fever are sent home
- Any staff or patient with any signs of infection are asked not to come to the office
- Is Fertility Institute of Hawaii continuing to provide fertility treatment?
Yes, we are open for fertility testing and treatment. Certain fertility tests and treatments that require hospital resources such as hysterosalpingograms (HSGs), , laparoscopies, and laparotomies may be delayed. Hysteroscopies at our office are still ongoing. We are counseling all patients on potential risks of proceeding with treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- What happens to my IVF insurance authorization if I delay treatment?
Most Hawaii-based insurance companies offer 6 – 12 month IVF authorizations. Please check with your IVF coordinator to determine when your authorization expires. If the expiration date is upcoming, we may be able to request an extension. This is best done prior to the expiration date.
- What happens to my insurance benefit if my IVF cycle is cancelled due to extenuating circumstances caused by COVID?
If a cycle is cancelled due to COVID-19, the patient will either lose her insurance benefit, or choose to keep the benefit but pay out of pocket for services rendered/medications taken up until that point.
- In the event my cycle is cancelled, is it dangerous to stop my cycle in the middle, before my egg retrieval?
For most patients, cancellation mid-cycle will not cause any issues. Some patients may experience increased bloating or pain, which is typically self-limited. Your physician at the Fertility Institute of Hawaii may choose to give you medications such as a ‘trigger shot,’ and/or GnRH antagonist to help prevent some potential side effects.
- What happens if my frozen embryo transfer cycle is cancelled?
If your frozen embryo transfer cycle is cancelled, this would typically happen before embryo thaw. Therefore, there is minimal risk in the event this occurs. The transfer can be rescheduled for a different cycle. Any payment made would simply be applied to a future transfer cycle.
- How might COVID-19 impact pregnancy, should I choose to proceed with fertility treatment?
Unfortunately, data regarding this topic are limited. Currently, there is no evidence suggesting that COVID-19 causes birth defects, although it is early in this pandemic. Public health bodies have NOT recommended abstaining from getting pregnant at this time. However, as with other viruses, pregnant women may be at higher risk of complications if they do contract COVID-19, since pregnancy is a relative immunocompromised state.
- I was planning on doing a frozen embryo transfer before my yearly storage fee was due, but now I would like to delay. Will I have to pay for storage?
Please get in contact with your IVF coordinator regarding storage fees if you are choosing to delay your already planned transfer. We will be looking at billing inquiries on a case-by-case basis, and doing everything we can to ease financial burdens on patients during this difficult time.
- I live on a neighbor island. Does travelling to/from Oahu require a 14-day quarantine?
At this time, travel from neighbor islands for the purpose of medical procedures is not subject to 14-day quarantine. . However, flights could be limited or cancelled, so be sure to check with your airline. Please contact your IVF coordinator or our main telephone line if you live on a neighbor island and would like to start or resume treatment.
- I would like to resume or start treatment at the Fertility Institute of Hawaii but I live on the U.S.A. Mainland or in a different country. Can I travel to Hawaii for treatment?
Due to mandatory quarantine laws, travelling from the Mainland or an international location requires a 14 day quarantine in Hawaii prior to being able to come to our office. Travel and quarantine restrictions are rapidly evolving, so please be sure to check with your IVF coordinator or call our main line to discuss your specific situation.
- Do you have any patients with COVID-19 at the Fertility Institute of Hawaii?
Due to patient privacy laws, we cannot disclose information about the health of other patients. However, your safety is our number one priority. If there is any concern for your safety, we will let you know immediately; we will also reach out to cancel appointments due to concern over COVID-19.
- Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
We are here for you at this time. Please contact the Fertility Institute of Hawaii at 808-545-2800; you can also contact your IVF coordinator directly if you have been assigned one. For general information regarding COVID-19, please visit www.cdc.gov or check with your local health department.