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Minnesota tells hospitals: Don't bill sex assault victims for exams

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Lori Swanson
Lori Swanson
Jim Mone | AP 2014

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is reminding Minnesota hospitals that they are not allowed to bill sexual assault victims for forensic medical exams.

The Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault found some Minnesota hospitals may be violating state and federal laws barring providers from billing patients for sexual assault exams. The organization called for more education to ensure victims are not being billed for any part of a forensic exam, including ancillary charges such as a "facilities fee."

Minnesota law requires counties to cover the cost of such exams and a victim's insurance cannot be billed with without the victim's consent. 

Swanson said she wrote to the state's major hospital systems in light of the coalition's findings, which she said indicated "a fair amount of confusion about the law."

In addition to telling hospitals they need to comply with the law moving forward, Swanson said she wants them to refund any wrongly billed forensic examine fees.

Correction (Feb. 26, 2016): An earlier version of this story used an incorrect name for the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault.