To investigate the cost-effectiveness of private umbilical cord blood banking.
A decision-analytic model was designed comparing private umbilical cord blood banking with no umbilical cord blood banking. Baseline assumptions included a cost of $3,620 for umbilical cord blood banking and storage for 20 years, a 0.04% chance of requiring an autologous stem cell transplant, a 0.07% chance of a sibling requiring an allogenic stem cell transplant, and a 50% reduction in risk of graft-versus-host disease if a sibling uses banked umbilical cord blood.
Private cord blood banking is not cost-effective because it cost an additional $1,374,246 per life-year gained. In sensitivity analysis, if the cost of umbilical cord blood banking is less than $262 or the likelihood of a child needing a stem cell transplant is greater than 1 in 110, private umbilical cord blood banking becomes cost-effective.
Currently, private umbilical cord blood banking is cost-effective only for children with a very high likelihood of needing a stem cell transplant. Patients considering private blood banking should be informed of the remote likelihood that a unit will be used for a child or another family member.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: