Maven beefs up fertility program with focus on natural conception, male fertility care

Maven Clinic is expanding its fertility and family building program with additional providers and platform enhancements to streamline patient data and invoicing. 

The global women’s health clinic is enhancing its Maven Managed Benefit platform, which combines virtual care management with custom fertility benefit design and administration. A new provider portal on Maven Managed Benefit allows patients to track their in-person clinical results and invoices and enables partner clinics to get paid the same day.

The enhancement incentivizes the expansion of Maven’s clinic network and gives Maven access to data on utilization and the member experience, executives told Fierce Healthcare. 

In the latest announcement, Maven also shared for the first time the details of its Trying-to-Conceive (TTC) health coaching program, which has been available for about a year. It is geared toward individuals that are struggling and want to get pregnant without in vitro fertilization (IVF). Instead of sending members straight to a Maven Performance Network clinic for treatment, the program first explores natural paths where appropriate. It is available to those in the Fertility and Trying-to-Conceive tracks at no additional cost. 

The current healthcare system is set up to automatically direct people struggling with fertility to high-cost services like IVF, said Maven’s chief medical officer Neel Shah, M.D. The TTC coaching program aims to offer preconception care. Members in the program are assigned a health coach to go over goal-setting, reproductive education, check-ins, ovulation tracking or induction and referrals to mental health and nutrition resources.

“In the incumbent system, there’s not a lot of incentives to help people that way,” Shah told Fierce Healthcare in advance of the announcement.

Indeed, one study from 2015 suggests that only 14% of individuals get preconception care services during ambulatory care visits, such as with the OBGYN or a family physician. The American Academy of Family Physicians chronicles the barriers to such care and its importance in a detailed position paper.

Across all Maven Fertility & Family Building program members, 30% achieve pregnancy without the need for assisted reproductive technology such as IVF, the company claims. Still, some people will ultimately need more hands-on help to conceive. That’s why Maven often refers out, Shah said; the company has a contracted network of in-person providers like fertility clinics, which allows for members to get expedited care whose quality Maven is confident in.

"A really important part of the fertility equation"

One in 3 members in the Fertility & Family Building program is male. To better serve them, Maven is expanding its reproductive urology provider network to better support male fertility care. Members can now access 12 provider types that specialize in male fertility care, including reproductive urologists, reproductive endocrinologists, genetic counselors, relationship coaches and more. 

Low sperm counts are often the result of testosterone supplements, Shah noted, the ads for which proliferate online. Other lifestyle factors, like tight clothes, can sometimes also affect fertility, per Shah. Yet it’s not common for men to regularly see urologists, the way a woman might see a gynecologist. 

“All those things on the margin make a big difference for people. This is stuff that nobody takes the time to talk to people about,” Shah said.

Beyond that, encouragement is important—people are anxious and it is important to help them set expectations and be empowered to address their health, Shah added. Though Maven’s business is primarily focused on women, “men are a really important part of the fertility equation.” 

Maven can offer men an at-home semen analysis and virtual consults to give them a better understanding of their health and direct them to the right treatment. While at-home tests aren’t perfect, Shah said, they can still offer some direction for the next step of care.