This is the bill for a recent labor and delivery service in the United States. And it includes a $39.35 charge for holding the baby after delivery. Really.
During the C-section the nurse asked my wife if she would like to do skin to skin after the baby was born. Which of course anyone would say yes too. We just noticed it in the bill today.
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.
As a labor and delivery nurse, I can kind of explain this. 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.
What struck me the most about my quest to learn about hospital prices was the fact that consumers have no way of knowing where a hospital stands on the vast pricing spectrum. Consumers have few options to interact with pricing until after they have received treatment. It’s significantly easier to find out how much it costs to park at a hospital than how much it will cost to get treatment.