Six New York hospitals have agreed to repay victims of sexual assault who are unlawfully charged with up to $ 3,000 for rape tests that should have been charged to the state or its insurers, Attorney General Barbara Underwood said Thursday.
The hospitals ̵
Sexual survivors The attack has already undergone an unfathomable trauma, "Democrat Democrat Underwood said in a statement. "They may then be subject to illegal bills and debt collection requests."
The Attorney General's Office investigated the rape of rape after she was accused of being a victim of sexual assault charges seven times for a forensic rape examination in Brooklyn Hospital Center.
What was found was a total failure to inform patients about their payment options, along with widespread unlawful settlement of casualties, with six hospital bills ranging from $ 46 to $ 3,000.
A Brooklyn Settlement The hospital, which arrived about a year ago, served as a model for Thursday's announcement. The Times Union reported that the institutions covered by these agreements were the Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center and the New York-Presbyterian / Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, the St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, the Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island and the Montefiore Nyack Hospital in Rockland County.
Hospitals have agreed to issue new billing guidelines to ensure that future survivors of sexual assault are not charged for the kits. Each hospital will pay a fine of up to $ 15,000.
The Federal Act on Violence against Women prohibits hospitals from convicting survivors of rape violations. New York law requires hospitals to charge the state's Office of Victim Services, unless the affected party decides to pay the costs through the insurance.
The Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan, which billed at least 24 people for rape checks between January 2016 and November 2017, and sent 19 cases to the collections, said it did not charge any state or insurance companies under its new policy will make.
"Our patients are our top priority," the hospital said in a statement. "We seek to provide sexual assault survivors, and anyone who comes to our hospital can provide quality care with the sensitivity they deserve."
The spokeswoman for Montefiore Nyack, Lauren Malone, said the hospital "worked very closely with the Attorney General's Office to ensure that appropriate protocols were implemented to prevent further incidents. "
" We regret the mistake and acted immediately to make reparation to those affected, "said Malone.
Under state law, the Office of Victim Services covers the costs of the forensic examiner, facilities, and lab tests It does not pay for the treatment of cuts, broken limbs, or counseling.
Underwood said picking up the registry through the Office of Victim Services would ensure privacy and confidentiality and increase the likelihood that a person which is being attacked allows for investigation, which in turn enhances the ability of law enforcement agencies to identify perpetrators.
Sonia Ossorio, president of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women, praised Underwood, "this critical step to end the illegal practice to have done the rape of bills survivor end "for the exams.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.