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The Cost Effectiveness of IVF


17 October 2007

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Washington, DC – Researchers today presented studies on the economics of Assisted Reproductive Technologies. One study found that adding an ART benefit did not greatly increase the cost of health insurance and another examined the cost/quality-adjusted life year ratio for ART treatment strategies.

Collaborators from the Economics and Obstetrics and Gynecology Departments at Duke University estimated the cost-effectiveness of different embryo transfer strategies. They found that short term transfer of 3 embryos provided the lowest cost to live birth ratio. Transfer of fewer embryos was more expensive in the short run, because it increases the likelihood of needing multiple cycles to have a child. Single embryo transfer was less expensive in the long term because the likelihood of complications rises with multiple gestations. 

Researchers from Emory and Harvard examined the existing literature on the cost impact of ART. They found that when ART care is offered as benefit, health plans only see a negligible increase in the cost per member per month. Moreover, states with mandatory ART insurance see lower multiple gestation rates, thus reducing utilization of expensive neo-natal and pediatric care associated with multiples.

“The economics of health care is of vital importance to our patients, and to society generally. Using a standard measure like cost per additional year of life, infertility treatments are one of great bargains in modern health care,” stated David Adamson, MD, President-elect of ASRM.

P-78 Myers et al, The Personal Economics of IVF: Impact of Time Horizon, Number of Embryos Transferred, Quality of Life and Choice of Outcome on Cost-Effectiveness from the Couple’s Perspective 

P-39 Omurtag and Toth, The Cost Effectiveness and Health Outcomes of In-Vitro Fertilization as a Mandated Benefit

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, founded in 1944, is an organization of more than 8,000 physicians, researchers, nurses, technicians, and other professionals dedicated to advancing knowledge and expertise in reproductive biology. Affiliated societies include the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, The Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and the Society of Reproductive Surgeons. 

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Date Added: 17 October 2007   Date Updated: 17 October 2007
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