A recent article by Brian Klepper of Insurance Thought Leadership on How to Choose a Fertility Vendor Featured ARC Fertility
97% of employers offering infertility coverage say that it adds little to medical plan costs and that many employees prize it.
Another important consideration is whether a vendor’s performance claims — fertility or other — have been vetted by an independent third party, like the Validation Institute (VI), and if not, why not. (Disclosure: I serve unpaid on the VI’s Advisory Board.)
The VI stands behind its validation process, offering customers of validated solution providers up to a $25,000 guarantee for claims-based validations and up to $50,000 for program validations. They offer four validation levels, with 4 representing the highest.
- Contractual Integrity, meaning that a vendor “is willing to put part of their fees ‘at risk,’ as a performance guarantee.”
- Metrics, meaning that “credible sources and valid assumptions create a reasonable estimate of the program’s impact.”
- Outcomes, meaning that “the product/solution has measurably improved an outcome of importance.”
- Savings, meaning that “the vendor can reduce healthcare spending per case/participant or for the plan/purchaser overall.”
As I wrote this article, I pulled up the VI home page, clicked on Validation Reports and searched using the keyword “fertility.” Up popped the names of 11 fertility companies, including ARC Fertility, which had sought validation. Nine others were marked “Not Validated.” The VI’s listing does not include all U.S. fertility vendors.
ARC Fertility achieved Level 3 (Outcomes) and 4 (Savings) validations on two different performance claims. The Level 3 claim was “ARC Fertility clinics’ patients have a lower rate of multiple births (twins, triplets and higher) than all other U.S. clinics’ average. Multiple births impact the health and the medical costs for mothers and babies.” The Level 4 claim was, ”By reducing the frequency of twins and higher multiple births, ARC Fertility reduces employers’ cost for offering fertility benefits.”
In ARC Fertility’s validation report, VI accessed a data repository maintained by The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), which 86% of U.S. fertility clinics participate in. Members contribute specified data on each fertility patient’s treatment and outcomes. VI used this resource to compare ARC’s health outcomes and savings with the average performance of other fertility firms. Other member firms can perform a similar analysis.