How to choose a provider
Asking as many questions as possible helps to make sure you're as well informed as possible before making the important selection of which service provider to use. Below are some suggested questions you should pose in order to learn about the different providers available and how they measure up.
Are you regulated by an independent regulator or an industry body?
- Are you regulated or accredited by an industry body?
- What protection does this offer my family in the event your company no longer exists
- What physical contingency arrangements do you have?
What financial contingency arrangements do you have in place?
Click here to read more about the dangers of selecting an unregulated provider.
What do your fees cover?
- Are there additional fees I should be aware of, for example, collection fees at hospital (by OB/GYN or hospital staff), future extraction of stem cells, transportation to another country etc?
What happens if there is a problem with the sample (e.g. contamination of sample or insufficient amount of blood etc.)?
- What assistance will you give us in such situations?
What fees if any will still be payable?
What relationship, if any, do you have with the OBGYN/hospital assisting us with our collection?
Can I see the collection kit and how the valuable assets will be transported?
N.B. Some collection kits are very rudimentary in nature and may not facilitate the appropriate level of protection for the cord blood and tissue.
How does your company review processes and services to ensure they are at the forefront of private storage and application of stem cells in medical therapies?
Why should we use your company rather than other options available to my family?
How do Athena Life's fees compare to other providers?
Whilst other providers may appear to be more inexpensive at first glance, it's important to understand the underlying reasons for this. Many cliches come to mind - "you get what you pay for", " not all service providers are created equal". It's difficult for parents, when presented with so many options (and oftentimes feeling compelled to make a choice quickly) - it seems simpler to filter out services based on pricing. We understand that.
But we also understand that choosing a provider for you family's cord blood banking is not one that should be made lightly and without sufficient research. If a provider is pushing you to make such a decision quickly you should wonder why.
Of course making a decision before your due date makes things less stressful for you, but you should be given the opportunity to do all the research you need to make the right choice for you and your family.
Key reasons for a price differential are:
- Regulated versus unregulated services.
Industry self-certification is NOT the same thing at all. Choosing an unregulated provider may mean that your family may not be adequately protected in the event of a physical or financial failure of the facility where your newborns' precious stem cells are stored. What will happen in the event of such failures? Additionally, being listed on a stock exchange ensures that the interests of shareholders are protected in terms of company function, but does not extend any protection to clients of such businesses,
- Not all related costs being covered.
Will your hospital/OBGYN charge for collection? Will there be fees for extraction, use, or transportation of the stem cells when you need them? What happens if the facility fails financially?
- How reliable are the methods used for storage collection?
What leadership does your chosen provider have inrespect not only of the long term storage but the use of stem cells. Can your chosen provider say with certainty what experience they have in retrieving a sufficient number of cells when the time comes to use them? If their proven "viability counts" aren't high enough the stored sample could be rendered useless.
There are many many reasons more than these which is why we want to ensure ALL parents-to-be have the opportunity to ask all the questions they want before making such an important decision.