Health department seeks end to billing rape victims
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
The announcement Monday from the Department of Health and Hospitals was a response to criticism from victims' advocacy groups and lawmakers, when they learned that women who have been raped were being billed for treatment.
The law changes will be proposed in the legislative session that begins in April.
The health department's plan will ban billing of treatment charges to the victim and let hospitals directly seek reimbursement from the Crime Victim's Reparation Board.
Currently, the board can't accept bills from directly from the medical provider for treatment of rape and sexual assault victims, and victims who don't file a police report have been deemed ineligible for reimbursement.