North Carolina health system apologizes after billing patients for rape kits

Fayetteville, N.C.-based Cape Fear Valley Health System is apologizing for billing patients for rape test kits, according to The Fayetteville Observer.

Under North Carolina law, medical organizations are required to provide free forensic medical examinations to victims of rape and other sexual offenses. However, records show Cape Fear Valley billed about 17 rape victims for rape kit tests last year, according to WRAL. Some of the victims were charged as much as $4,000.

In a statement to The Fayetteville Observer, Cape Fear Valley said charging victims of sexual assault for forensic exams is not its policy. The health system said it changed the process for registering those patients when it switched to a new EHR system in May.

"Patients are now registered as victim's assistance to enable the health system to apply for reimbursement from the state victim's assistance fund," the health system said.

The health system apologized for errors that were made before the new EHR system was implemented.

"We apologize for any bills sent in error," the health system said. "Patients who may have received them, or who might receive them in the future, should bring them to our attention so that the charges can be reversed."

Access the full article from The Fayetteville Observer here.

Access the full article from WRAL here.

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