Monday’s blog, “Why We Pasteurize” was the second article in a 3-part series addressing questions sent to us via Facebook. Today, we explain the Who, What and Why related to donor milk, costs and processing fees. To stay updated on breastfeeding, babies and the magic of donor milk, be sure to click “LIKE” on our Facebook page. We will keep you updated on breastfeeding, babies and the magic of donor milk.
Part III – Milk & Money
Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas is a non-profit milk bank located in Fort Worth’s Medical District.
There are no owners or investors profiting from our donated milk.
Because milk is donated, we do not charge for the milk itself, only for the processing fees incurred to ensure donor milk is safe for critically ill infants.
We are very proud of our ability to keep costs low and charge only what is needed to continue to provide life-saving donor human milk to the babies that need it to survive.
Most non-profit milk banks charge $4.00 to $5.50 an ounce.
Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas assesses a processing fee of $4.40 an ounce which does not cover all operating expenses.
We rely on the generosity of individual donations and charitable funders to supplement our costs.
Processing safe milk for sick babies is expensive.
Our fees pay for the operating costs and expenses of providing safe donor milk for sick babies including donor screening, pasteurization, packaging and storage.
Who We Charge
For hospitalized babies, the NICU orders the milk and the hospital pays the processing fees just like they pay for blood, medication and nutritional supplements. Donor milk is only a part of the treatment for preemies in the NICU.
For sick babies at home with a medical need for donor milk, costs are paid by Medicaid or private insurance. Our charitable care program ensures that a baby is never turned away based on the family’s ability to pay processing fees. In 2014, we provided $412,000 of charitable care. Most of these families had no insurance, had reached their policy’s lifetime maximum or had other situations preventing insurance reimbursement. Babies are prioritized based on their medical condition, NOT their ability to pay.
80% of the babies we serve are tiny preemies in the NICU who require a very small but important volume of milk.
The total cost to feed these babies is as little as $7.00 per day.
While EVERY baby can benefit from human milk, it is important to appropriate donor milk where it can do the most good for the most babies. At Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, we are so very grateful to the donor mothers willing to share their milk with these precious babies that have so much to lose without it.
For more information about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas or how to become a donor, please visit our website.