New York hospitals reach settlement, agree to stop improper billing of rape survivors

A group of New York hospitals has agreed to pay restitution to rape survivors and revise billing procedures as part of a legal settlement, state Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced Nov. 29.

The settlement resolves allegations that the hospitals illegally billed at least 200 forensic exams to rape survivors, ranging from $46 to $3,000 each, according to Ms. Underwood.

Hospitals are Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn; Montefiore Nyack (N.Y.) Hospital; New York Presbyterian/Brooklyn Methodist Hospital; NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center; Staten Island-based Richmond University Medical Center; and Bronx-based St. Barnabas Hospital. Columbia University, which employs physicians, is also included.

The hospitals have agreed to pay restitution to rape survivors in addition to costs and implement written policies to prevent rape survivors from receiving bills for their rape exams.

The settlements follow an investigation of billing practices for forensic rape examinations at Brooklyn Hospital Medical Center. Ms. Underwood said the investigation resulted in an agreement with the hospital, and her office initiated a statewide investigation of billing practices for rape exams at other facilities.

New York law requires that hospitals bill rape exams to the state Office of Victim Services directly, unless the sexual assault survivor voluntarily decides to assign the costs to a private health plan.

 

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