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Find the Best Cord Blood Banks in Baltimore, MD

Umbilical cord blood provides stem cells for the treatment of certain illnesses, but it must be preserved when the baby is born to be usable by that child or other genetic matches later. The Baltimore Sun has partnered with ConsumerAffairs to create this guide by comparing the local popularity and plan options of 28 businesses and choosing seven favorites from the best cord blood banking companies in Baltimore.

Companies pay ConsumerAffairs to be authorized, and The Baltimore Sun and/or ConsumerAffairs may receive compensation when you click a link, call a number or fill out a form on this site.

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How to choose a cord blood bank in Baltimore

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The first step to choosing a cord blood bank in Baltimore is deciding whether you want to go with private or public storage.

  • Private cord blood banks collect, process and store clients’ cord blood for a fee, keeping it secure for their exclusive use. Families that have a known illness can save the cord blood of a new baby that is a genetic match for other family members and use their stem cells as needed.
  • Public cord blood banks are typically nonprofit organizations that collect and store cord blood for use by people in need of stem cells. Doctors and medical professionals can access a public cord blood bank to find a match on behalf of their patients. Donating to a public cord blood bank does not cost money, making it a great way for families to help those in need. However, there’s no guarantee that your donation will be available if you ever need it.

When choosing a cord blood bank, consider what each facility collects, their accreditation and the various other features or services they offer. Some companies collect and store both cord blood and umbilical tissue, but others also process and store placental tissue.

Cord blood banks can apply to various organizations for accreditation. There are different requirements for each certification, but these credentials are usually a good sign. At a minimum, cord blood banks must register with the Food and Drug Administration and hold a license.

Cord blood banks also offer different options for collection and storage. After the cord blood is collected, it is shipped to a facility for processing. Some companies use a fast, automatic method that employs machines to separate the stem cells. Other companies use manual processing, which extracts the stem cells by hand. This is slower but more precise than machine extraction.

Regardless of the extraction method, stem cells from your cord blood are then put in cold storage for up to 18 - 25 years, depending on what level of service you choose. Lifetime storage might also be available, but the limits are cord blood viability are somewhat unknown.

How much does cord blood banking cost in Baltimore?

In Baltimore, the average price for 20 years of private cord blood storage is $4,000 - $6,000 when paid upfront. Most companies also offer payment plans that split up the total price of cord blood banking into yearly or monthly payments. If you choose a monthly payment plan, the average cost of cord blood banking is about $200 per month after a smaller upfront fee of anywhere from $200 to $2,000. Other companies allow you to pay an upfront fee, typically around $3,000, and then pay annually for storage.

Most companies have various options to work with your budget. You can often save money by paying upfront in full, but cord blood banking companies might also offer special pricing for twins or siblings. Look for referral bonuses and seasonal discounts too, especially during July, which is Cord Blood Awareness Month.

Pros and cons of cord blood banking in Baltimore

Stem cells are currently used in the treatment of over 80 diseases. Cord blood banking preserves stem cells for use in these treatments, but certain limitations exist.

Pros:

  • Stem cells from cord blood can be used to treat leukemias, lymphomas, red blood cell and platelet abnormalities, bone marrow cancers, blood diseases, and immune disorders.
  • The cord blood donor, along with family members who are a genetic match, can be treated with cord blood stem cells.
  • Family members who are only a partial match might be able to use the stem cells in some cases.
  • Cord blood stem cells are more numerous than bone marrow stem cells and are less likely to be rejected than adult bone marrow cells.

Cons:

  • It can be hard to collect enough cord blood for adult use.
  • Patients must match certain genetic factors for your stored stem cells to be effective, so there’s no guarantee of viability for people other than the donor.
  • If a baby is born with a genetic condition, the cord blood stem cells also have that condition, making them invalid for treatment.
  • Your family may never need your privately banked cord blood. This is ultimately a good thing, but it does affect the value of cord blood banking.

Baltimore cord blood banking FAQ

Can I donate cord blood in Baltimore?

Yes, you can donate cord blood to public blood banks in Baltimore. The National Marrow Donor Program also partners with many hospitals throughout the country.

How long does cord blood banking last?

Private storage for cord blood typically lasts 18 - 25 years. You can pay an additional fee for lifetime storage at some facilities, but it’s unknown how long stem cells can potentially be viable.

Is cord blood banking covered by insurance?

No, insurance generally does not cover cord blood banking. However, your insurance company might cover it if certain conditions run in your family. Contact your health insurance provider for specific coverage information.

What diseases can cord blood cure?

Cord blood treatment is not a guaranteed cure for any disease, but it has been used to successfully treat over 80 conditions, including sickle cell anemia, some leukemias and Hodgkin’s disease.

Why is cord blood important?

Privately storing cord blood after your baby is born ensures you have stem cells for that child in case they develop medical problems treatable with stem cell therapy. Public cord blood storage is also important as a resource for others who need life-saving stem cell treatments.

Baltimore cord blood banking company information

Authorized Partner

Americord

Americord is a private cord blood bank that offers cord blood, cord tissue and placental tissue collection and storage. The company includes medical courier transport with all plans, and its collection method is FDA-approved for cesarean sections. The company is an American Association of Blood Banks-accredited and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified lab, and it can store specimens for up to 20 years. Choose from five packages, starting at $157 per month for 24 months. Americord’s upfront fees start at $3,499.

Americord Learn More (917) 338-6773

Cord Blood Registry

Cord Blood Registry is a private cord blood bank with options for cord blood and cord tissue storage. The company provides medical courier shipping, genetic support counseling and access to a family health registry with every storage plan. It can also help with cord blood collection from a surrogate or if the birth takes place abroad. Eighteen-year or lifetime plans are available. Upfront prices start at $1,680, with $180 annual storage fees. Cord Blood Registry’s 48-month payment plan starts at $47 per month.

Cord Blood Registry

ViaCord

ViaCord offers private cord blood and cord tissue banking for up to 25 years at an AABB-accredited and CLIA-certified facility. You can add DNA preservation for your newborn, and the company also provides genomic testing options for newborns, children and adults. ViaCord uses a specialized five-compartment storage bag that eases access to cells. Its pricing for cord blood banking starts at $1,900 upfront, including one year of storage. Annual storage costs $175. ViaCord’s total cost for 20-year prepaid storage is $2,765.

ViaCord

Cryo-Cell

Cryo-Cell is an AABB-accredited private cord blood bank. The company offers a donor transplant program that provides free cord blood processing and storage for up to five years for families with an expectant child or young sibling who will need a cord blood stem cell transplant soon. Choose industry standard or premium processing. Ask about referral bonuses and multiple birth discounts. Save money by paying $4,650 in advance for processing, testing, medical courier shipping and 18 years of storage. Cryo-Cell provides 12- or 24-month payment plans starting at $79 per month with a $199 down payment.

Cryo-Cell

AlphaCord

AlphaCord is a private cord blood bank that collects cord blood, cord tissue and placenta tissue. The company is AABB accredited, and the bag it uses for collection holds four times more cells than the industry standard. Customers can add a five-chamber storage bag for $59. Eighteen years of prepaid storage is $1,995 upfront or $180 per month for 12 months. AlphaCord’s cord blood-only package starts at $995 upfront, with $125 per year storage starting the second year. Check its website for promotions.

AlphaCord

New England Cord Blood Bank

New England Cord Blood Bank is a private cord blood bank offering cord blood and tissue storage. Its automated stem cell extraction process recovers 99% of cells. The company also offers 20-year or lifetime storage options. Ask about interest-free financing and referral bonuses. New England Cord Blood Bank’s upfront price for 20-year storage is $3,849.

New England Cord Blood Bank

Mercy Medical Center

Mercy Medical Center partners with Cord for Life to provide services for cord blood donation at no cost. The Cord for Life Foundation stores donated resources at a public cord blood bank that is accessible to doctors on behalf of their patients. To make a donation, sign up at least four weeks before your delivery date. Mercy Medical Center is located at 345 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202.

Mercy Medical Center