The family of a murdered woman who had her baby violently removed from her womb are furious a hospital has billed them $420,000 for the baby’s care.
Chicago woman Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was killed in April after it’s alleged she visited Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter Desiree Figueroa on the promise of receiving baby clothes advertised on Facebook.
The older Figueroa later delivered the baby, Yovanny Lopez, to hospital claiming the little boy was hers.
The pair have since been charged with killing Ms Ochoa-Lopez and cutting out the baby from her womb.
Ms Ochoa-Lopez’s family said they have received bills from Advocate Christ Medical Center totalling $420,000.
Adding to their anger is the fact that the bills refer to baby Yovanny as having the last name of the woman who’s accused of killing his mother.
The bills to Yovanny’s family are for treatment that dates back to April 23 and include care of “high complexity” given to the infant.
The baby died on June 14.
“Thank you for choosing Advocate Health Care,” a statement dated June 3 reads.
“Your balance is past due. Please pay the entire amount ... to avoid being referred to an external collection agency.”
‘It needs to stop’
The family’s lawyer Frank Avila said the bills are “atrocious”.
“It needs to stop,” he said.
He added the family has been in touch with the hospital over the bills but continue to receive them.
Hospital spokeswoman Johnna Kelly said Advocate Christ has spoken with the family and apologised.
“We have had discussions with the family regarding inadvertent billing and we regret this error,” Ms Kelly said.
“We take our obligation to patient privacy seriously, and therefore are unable to comment further regarding care, services or billing.”
The hospital has faced questions over its handling of the case.
Despite Figueroa showing “no signs consistent with a woman who had just delivered a baby,” according to prosecutors, a mandated hospital reporter didn’t notify the Department of Children and Family Services about the newborn or the suspicious claim until May 9, the agency said.
When she first showed up at the hospital, Figueroa had blood on her arms, hands and face that authorities later determined was from Ms Ochoa-Lopez, prosecutors said.
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