Frequently Asked Questions

Topics



Consumer Protection

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What questions should parents ask a Family Bank about Company Stability?
  • Is the family cord blood bank a publicly-held or privately-held company? 
  • Is the company affiliated with a hospital or research institution? 
  • Is the company involved in bio-technology research and development?
  • What other medical services does the company perform?
  • How long has the company been banking cord blood? 
  • Who directs the day-to-day business of the company?  Many cord blood banks have famous doctors on their Board of Directors; but they are not involved with the day-to-day operations.
  • What is the lab inventory of cord blood collections, both public and private?  This speaks to their staff's experience with storing cord blood.
  • How many cord blood collections has the bank released from their own lab for therapy?  This speaks to their staff's experience with releasing cord blood.
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What questions should parents ask a Family Bank about Prices?
  • Is the enrollment fee charged once per family, or for each birth?
  • Is the first year of storage included in the processing fee?
  • Is the storage fee guaranteed fixed?
  • Are there any coupons currently available?  Most banks are constantly running a "special limited time offer".
  • Are there any professional discounts?  Most banks offer discounts to medical professionals and military personnel.  Some banks have discounts for first responders or students.  It pays to shop for these deals.
  • Do parents have the option of a partial or full refund if they decide not to store the cord blood for any reason?  For example, if the lab tests show contamination and the cord blood should not be saved, what happens?  Full refunds are typically only offered in situations where the bank provided staff to perform the collection service.
  • Should the family ever need the cord blood, check that the bank does not charge to release it.
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Will my delivery hospital allow me to use any family bank?
In the US, the answer to this question is almost always YES.  However... a handful of hospitals have signed exclusive contracts requiring their patients to use certain family banks, so it is best to check in advance. 

Those hospitals who have made exclusive partnerships will argue that it improves their level of care, because their staff train with and stock the collection kits for the banks they have approved.  The hospital probably has a financial incentive too.  However, for parents it means a lack of consumer choice.