Friday, November 30, 2018

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Settlement reached with area hospital to stop illegal billing of rape victims for forensic exams

NEW YORK – Montefiore Nyack Hospital in Nyack is one of seven hospitals that have reached settlements with the state attorney general’s office for illegally billing rape survivors for forensic rape examinations. The other six hospitals are in New York City.

State law says that when a hospital provides services, including a forensic rape examination, to any sexual assault survivor, those services are to be provided to the patient without charge and the bills for those services are to go directly to the Office of Victim Services. The survivor may also voluntarily opt to assign the costs to private insurance.

“We commend Attorney General (Barbara) Underwood for taking this critical step in ending the unlawful practice of billing rape survivors for their Forensic Rape Examinations,” said Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization for Women – New York. “It is of the utmost importance that survivors are given every tool and support possible to come forward, report that crime if that is what they wish to do, and to lower any barriers to reporting.”

The other hospitals reaching settlements with the AG’s office are Brookdale Hospital medical Center, Columbia University, New York Presbyterian/Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Richmond University Medical Center, and St. Barnabas Hospital.

The hospitals will pay restitution to survivors plus costs and revise billing procedures, under the agreement.

At least 200 rape kits were illegally billed to rape victims with the bills ranging from $46 to $3,000 each.

 


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