Only Tampa Bay area infertility clinic to take part in “Serving Our Veterans” Program
TAMPA, Fla. – The Reproductive Medicine Group is pleased to announce that it has been selected to participate in the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s “Serving Our Veterans” program. The infertility clinic is the only clinic in the Tampa Bay region participating.
As part of the program, The Reproductive Medicine Group will offer substantial discounts of up to 50% for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycles to qualifying injured military veterans whose service-related injuries impair their fertility.
Currently, the Veterans Administration, at the direction of Congress, bans medically-indicated infertility coverage to its patients. The ban has been in place since the early 1990s, when IVF was new and somewhat controversial. However, the last 30 years have seen a vast improvement in the delivery and acceptance of IVF. Additionally, the number of military engagement since the 9/11 attacks and improved battlefield medicine mean there are more surviving, injured service members than ever who need infertility services.
Legislation to eliminate the ban has passed the Senate in previous years, but efforts during the current Congressional session have stalled.
“We are indebted to our military veterans for the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America,” said Dr. Sandy Goodman of The Reproductive Medicine Group. “As the wife of an Army veteran, assisting veterans who have fertility issues because of the injuries they sustained during active duty is an issue close to my heart. Taking part in the Serving Our Veterans program is the right thing to do to help injured veterans have the families they desire.”
Discounts nationwide will vary per clinic. To determine eligibility, many of the clinics will be using the criteria developed by the Department of Defense for active-duty personnel. The program will expire when Congress lifts the ban or Congress adjourns at the end of 2016.
For more information about the “Serving Our Veterans” program, please call The Reproductive Medicine Group directly at (813) 914-7304 and mention the program.
Below is the complete press release about the program from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine:
Nation’s Infertility Physicians Call for End of Coverage Ban on IVF for Veterans; ASRM/SART Announce Discounted Service Program to Fill the Void
Calling the current ban on the Veterans Administration ability to provide medically-indicated infertility coverage for veterans “antiquated and unconscionable,” the nation’s fertility doctors today called on Congress to lift the statutory prohibition on covering In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). However, saying they could no longer stand by and do nothing, they also announced that many of the country’s leading infertility clinics would be offering deeply discounted care to veterans whose service-related injuries had impaired their fertility.
In the early 90’s when IVF was new and somewhat controversial, Congress passed a law that banned the VA from providing IVF care to its patients. Our increasing numbers of military engagements since the 9/11 attacks and improved battlefield medicine mean there are more surviving, injured service members than ever who need infertility services. The last 30 years have also seen vast improvements in the delivery and acceptance of IVF. Yet the ban remains.
Legislation to eliminate the ban has passed the Senate in previous years, but efforts this Congress has stalled.
“This ban on IVF coverage for our nation’s vets is antiquated and unconscionable, it is past time for it to be lifted. If only Congress would allow the VA to cover it, our members are ready to provide needed infertility care.” said Owen Davis MD, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
While waiting for Congress to act, members of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) are offering some help. Member clinics from across the country will be participating in ASRM/SART’s “Service to Veterans” program. Individual infertility clinics from around the country have stepped up to provide deeply discounted IVF services to injured veterans. While the details of the programs will vary from clinic to clinic, most will be offering at least a 50% discount to veterans whose service-related injuries have impaired their fertility. To determine eligibility, many of the clinics will be using the criteria developed by the Department of Defense for active-duty personnel. The program will expire when Congress lifts the ban or Congress adjourns at the end of 2016.
“Like many Americans, we have been frustrated by Congressional gridlock. While we wait for Congress to act, our member clinics have chosen to try to improve the situation. Our government should do better by our veterans. Until it does, the nation’s infertility doctors are going to try to offer some help,” said Brad Van Voorhis MD, President of SART.
Barb Collura, President & CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, added, “We can help our Veterans right now through this program, and help our Veterans into the future by telling Congress to overturn the IVF ban at the VA. We can make a difference!”
Representatives of several Veterans Service Organizations also commented:
Wounded Warrior Project Chief Strategy Officer, Jeremy Chwat, remarked, “Because of injuries, especially blast injuries from improvised explosive devices, many veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have tragically lost the ability to have children. After they transition out of the military, affected veterans are left without the basic ability to start a family and move on with their lives. Wounded Warrior Project is sincerely grateful to those American Society for Reproductive Medicine members who have agreed to offer IVF services to injured veterans at a discount. Ultimately, though, it is the job of Congress to act on this important issue and end the decades-old ban on VA’s ability to offer IVF to veterans who need it.”
“The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States salutes the American Society for Reproductive Medicine for its initiative to assist veterans who have lost the ability to have children due to service related wounds, injuries and illnesses. The VFW hopes that this act of generosity by participating infertility clinics will motivate Congress to finally authorize coverage of IVF treatments,” said VFW Legislative Director Raymond C. Kelley.
“Paralyzed Veterans of America strongly supports the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s “Service to Veterans Program” that will provide discounted fertility services to veterans who suffered a reproductive injury in service to their country. Congress refuses to care for the needs of these veterans by continuing to prohibit the VA from providing in-vitro fertilization services to these catastrophically disabled veterans. PVA thanks ASRM and the participating clinics for caring for these veterans when Congress has not,” said Carl Blake, Associate Executive Director, Government Relations, Paralyzed Veterans of America.
“Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has supported medically assisted procreation procedures for service-disabled veterans for more than three decades, and we will continue to do so. We also congratulate the American Society for Reproductive Medicine for its initiative in these efforts,” stated Thomas J. Berger, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Veterans Health Council of Vietnam Veterans of America.