Expanding Access to Fertility Care through Private Foundation
Only 1 in 4 infertile couples in the U.S. can afford the fertility care they need to achieve pregnancy. Some even turn to crowdfunding to help close the spending gap.
ASRM efforts. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has begun to explore strategies for broadening access to care. A year ago, ASRM held a summit meeting in Washington, DC and created a task force to follow through on potential solutions such as the use of private foundations. It conducted an observational study to explore their feasibility.1
A foundation for success. The researchers worked with the Kevin J. Lederer Life Foundation, which is a collaborative effort among Chicago-area fertility practices to promote health and alleviate the mental and physical challenges of those who are infertile. It does this through financial contributions and educational events on topics such as egg vitrification and male factor infertility.
Tangible results. Based on financial need and medical prognosis, a medical advisory board of reproductive endocrinologists selects the grant recipients. Of the 85 patients who applied during the study period, 13 received grantsa combination of donated IVF cycles and financial grants, which helped with the costs of egg donation, gestational carrier use, and adoption. Seven clinics donated care for 11 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. From these efforts came 3 live births and 2 ongoing pregnancies.
Although foundations such show promise in expanding fertility care, say the researchers, their success is dependent upon widespread community engagement, collaboration with other organizations, and ongoing financial support.
1. Borowiecki A. et al. Increased Access to Care Through Creation of Private Foundations: The Chicago Experience. Presented October 17, 2016, at ASRM 2016 Scientific Congress & Expo.