Objective: To study the use of video visits for male infertility care prior to the COVID-19 pandemic METHODS: We reviewed video visits for male infertility patients completed at a tertiary academic center in southeast Michigan. These patients had follow-up after an initial in-person evaluation. We designed this retrospective case series to describe the diagnostic categories seen through telehealth, management steps completed during video visits, and to understand whether additional in-person care was required within 90 days of video visits. In addition, we estimated time and cost savings for patients attributed to video visits.
Results: Most men seen during video visits had an endocrinologic (29%) or anatomic (21%) cause for their infertility. 73% of video visits involved reviewing results; 30% included counseling regarding assistive reproductive technologies; and 25% of video visits resulted in prescribing hormonally active medications. The two patients (3%) who were seen in clinic after their video visit underwent a varicocelectomy in the interim. No patients required an unplanned in-person visit. From a patient perspective, video visits were estimated to save a median of 97 minutes (IQR 64-250) of travel per visit. Median cost savings per patient- by avoiding travel and taking time off work for a clinic visit-were estimated to range from $149 (half day off) to $252 (full day off).
Conclusion: Video visits for established male infertility patients were used to manage different causes of infertility while saving patients time and money. Telehealth for established patients did not trigger additional in-person evaluations.
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