Grassley hospital bill

A copy of the Grassley family's delivery bill posted on Reddit on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016.

A Spanish Fork family’s story has gone viral after they posted a picture of their son’s delivery bill online.

Ryan Grassley posted the bill from his son’s birth Monday on Reddit with the title, “I had to pay $39.35 to hold my baby after he was born.” It’s since gathered more than 11,000 comments and has been viewed more than 3 million times.

On the bill, the charge is listed for “skin to skin after c-sec.”

Grassley’s son, Samuel, was born Sept. 4 at Utah Valley Hospital in Provo via a planned cesarean section. He held his son on his wife’s chest after the surgery and a nurse took pictures.

“It was a good experience,” Grassley said. “I don’t want this to turn into some kind of witch hunt where everyone gets mad at the hospital.”

After he saw the bill, he said he thought it was funny, so he posted it online. He said “in the spirit of ridiculousness,” he set up a GoFundMe page to raise the $39 for the listed skin-to-skin contact. The page has since raised $15.

“Any money donated over the $39.35 will be put towards a vasectomy because I never want to go (through) these sleepless new baby nights again,” he wrote on the page.

Hospital spokesperson Janet Frank said she can’t comment on a specific bill without the patient’s consent.

During a c-section, she said the bedside caregiver cares for the mother during the surgery. Another nurse is brought into the operating room so the infant can remain with its mother.

“There is an additional charge associated with bringing an extra caregiver into the OR,” Frank said in a written statement. “The charge is not for holding the baby, but for the additional caregiver needed to maintain the highest level of patient safety.”

Samuel is the Grassley’s second child. Their first was born in a different hospital through an unplanned c-section. Grassley said he doesn't remembering looking at the bill for that birth, but that the baby was taken away immediately to get checked out.

He said he doesn’t have an agenda for posting the bill online, but thinks maybe the hospital can describe the charge in a better way.

“I just wanted to give people a laugh,” he said.

Braley Dodson covers health and education for the Daily Herald.

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