A Utah couple was confused after receiving a $39.95 charge for "skin-to-skin contact" on a bill from their hospital after the birth of their child. Though it first seemed like a charge for holding the baby, the hospital told NBC's "Today" show the charge was to cover the cost of having an additional caregiver in the operating room.
The hospital issued a statement, saying they can't comment on a specific bill without consent from the patient due to privacy laws but added that, "in general, Utah Valley Hospital is an advocate for skin-to-skin contact between a mother and newborn directly after birth."
"In the case of a c-section, where the bedside caregiver is occupied caring for the mother during surgery, an additional nurse is brought into the OR to allow the infant to remain in the OR suite with the mother," the statement said. "This is to ensure both patients remain safe. 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."