Ryan Grassley had to pay nearly $40 to hold his baby immediately after the child was born via cesarean section on Sept. 4th at Utah Valley Hospital.
The Utah father only wanted to share a laugh after he and his wife saw the itemized bill with a $39.35 charge for skin-to-skin time, but they may have started a movement.
"I posted the bill to Reddit because I thought it was funny," Grassley wrote online. The post has been viewed more than 3.1 million times on Imgur, as of Tuesday at 5 p.m. and upvoted more than 6,200 times on Reddit.
The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife's neck/chest
Grassley said that on Sept. 4, a Utah Valley Hospital operating room nurse asked if the couple wanted to do skin-to-skin. This practice is viewed to have many benefits and helps the child bond with the mother.
Grassley has set up a tongue-in-cheek GoFundMe account with a fundraising goal of $39.35 to pay off the "ridiculous" fee.
In the donation description, he wrote that any excess money raised will be put toward a vasectomy. He says he never wants to go through sleepless newborn nights again.
Grassley wrote on his GoFundMe page that it's been interesting to see the shock from people around the world about the cost of medical procedures in the United States.
Grassley wanted to be clear that he wasn't posting the picture of the bill as a slight toward the hospital.
"We had a very positive experience during the birth of our son, and the hospital and staff were great throughout the entire process," he wrote.
Yes, the photo of the bill is real, and it's an actual fee with a reasoning behind it.
Janet Frank, a spokeswoman for Intermountain HealthCare's Utah Valley Hospital released this statement:
"In general, Utah Valley Hospital is an advocate for skin-to-skin contact between a mother and newborn directly after birth. Skin-to-skin is a best practice with proven benefits for both mom and baby. There is an additional charge associated with bringing an extra caregiver into the OR. The charge is not for holding the baby, but for the additional caregiver needed to maintain the highest levels of patient safety."