AG to Minn. hospitals: Refund sexual violence victims

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is backing sexual violence victims who have been unlawfully charged for physical exams.

In a letter sent Feb. 26, Ms. Swanson reminded healthcare providers across the state that it is unlawful to bill rape victims for exams, according to a Star Tribune report. Hospital administrators were also asked to respond to questions about their billing and treatment practices, which her office will use to identify hospitals that have been inappropriately billing sexual violence victims and help victims seek repayment, the Star Tribune reported.

Ms. Swanson's letter comes after the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault released a report that showed Minnesota hospitals are inappropriately billing sexual violence victims for physical exams. The report, which summarized a survey of 139 respondents, ranging from medical practitioners to advocates and law enforcement, found about 18 percent of respondents stated that victims will "sometimes" or "often" receive bills relating to aspects of the medical forensic exam.

Additionally, 30 percent of respondents did not feel comfortable telling victims that they will not be billed for their exam, suggesting they have reason to believe that victims might be billed for aspects of their exam.

Ms. Swanson said she hopes her letter will clarify proper practices, according to the Star Tribune.

 

 

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