New York hospitals to repay victims charged for rape kits

November 30, 2018 - 3:43 pm

NEW YORK (AP) -- Six New York hospitals have agreed to repay sexual assault victims who were illegally charged as much as $3,000 for rape examinations that should've been billed to the state or insurers.

Attorney General Barbara Underwood said Thursday the hospitals wrongly billed victims for at least 200 forensic rape exams in recent years and had collections agencies go after some women who failed to pay.

The hospitals have agreed to enact new billing policies to ensure that victims don't get charged. Each hospital will pay a fine of up to $15,000.

The federal Violence Against Women Act prohibits hospitals from charging assault survivors for rape kits. New York law mandates that hospitals instead bill the state's Office of Victim Services unless a victim decides to have the cost covered by insurance.