How a tiny clinic turned into the biggest U.S. babymaker

Associate editor Caroline Cunningham highlights a few reasons behind this success, including SGF’s “shared risk program,” in which certain patients undergoing in vitro fertilization can pay extra and receive a guarantee: If they don’t wind up with a baby, they get a refund.

Another factor: SGF is headquartered in Maryland, one of a few states that require insurers to cover IVF.

SGF has grown to 25 clinics in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District. According to one former patient, the office on K Street in downtown Washington is “Grand Central Station for infertile women in D.C.” That’s why, Cunningham notes, the clinic’s on-staff interior designer has placed translucent walls in its large waiting rooms “so even when they’re filling up, they don’t feel overcrowded.”

Cunningham reports that Shady Grove’s size means it “can afford the bells and whistles: A custom alarm system on the egg and embryo storage tanks will call the lab director’s cell phone at any hour if the tank temperature changes.”