A new father says he was charged nearly $40 to hold his baby after his wife gave birth at a Utah hospital.
Reddit user “halfthrottle” posted an image of the hospital’s billing statement under the headline, “I had to pay $39.35 to hold my baby after he was born.”
The photo, posted Monday, has been viewed more than 2.8 million times within 24 hours.
The bill, which totaled more than $13,000, is dated Sept. 23 and it states the delivery was on Sept. 4.
The father, identified as Ryan Grassley by KTLA sister station WPIX, said the delivery was performed at Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, Utah. He and his wife had a positive experience at the hospital, Grassley said.
In a comment on Reddit, the dad appeared to suggest he wasn’t too offended by the charge:
The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife’s neck/chest. Even borrowed my camera to take a few pictures for us. Everyone involved in the process was great, and we had a positive experience. We just got a chuckle out of seeing that on the bill.
Grassley told WPIX he started a GoFundMe page, where he wrote that he’s been interested to see shock from around the globe over medical expenses in the U.S.
The fundraising page has a humorous tone.
If I reach my goal of $39.35 I will use it to pay off this “ridiculous” fee.
Any money donated over the $39.35 will be put towards a vasectomy because I never want to go though these sleepless new baby nights again.
Meanwhile, many Reddit users expressed disgust at the bill, which had the hospital’s name blacked out.
But one user, “FiftySixer,” identified himself or herself as a labor and delivery nurse and attempted to “kind of explain this.” The user wrote:
I didn’t know that hospitals charged for it, but doing ‘skin to skin’ in the operating room requires an additional staff member to be present just to watch the baby. We used to take all babies to the nursery once the NICU team made sure everything was okay. ‘Skin to skin’ in the OR is a relatively new thing and requires a second Labor and Delivery RN to come in to the OR and make sure the baby is safe.
The hospital did not respond immediately to a request for comment by the New York Daily News.