State AG: Some hospitals illegally billed rape victims for forensic exams

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NYACK -

The state Attorney General's Office revealed Thursday that some area hospitals have been illegally billing hundreds of rape survivors for their own forensic rape exams.

Montefiore Nyack Hospital in Rockland is one of seven hospitals in the greater New York Metro Area that the state says wrongly billed rape survivors for exams.

Those exams cost anywhere from $46 a piece to $3,000.

The state Attorney General's Office says Nyack Hospital violated the law by billing rape victims for the kit that is administered when survivors go to the emergency room or see their physician.

It says that the bill should have gone to the Office of Victims Services so that rape survivors aren't re-traumatized with a pricey bill, and their information and privacy remain protected.

Montefiore Nyack Hospital released a statement Thursday saying the billing was done in error and was corrected as soon as officials realized the mistake.

The Center for Safety and Change in New City, the county's lead sexual assault agency, says it believes the hospital, adding that officials there have been nothing but victim-focused with all matters of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Montefiore Nyack Hospital says it's fully reimbursed all victims who were wrongfully billed and has taken steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Officials for the Center for Safety and Change say executives from Nyack Hospital contacted them months ago when they first learned about the billing error and have been proactive ever since about fixing the alleged mistake.

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