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A different kind of healing: Hospital honchos to reimburse patients illegally charged for rape kits

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Administrators at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in Fort Greene must cut checks to sexual-assault victims who were illegally billed for rape kits over the past several years, New York State’s Attorney General said on Nov. 28 while announcing a settlement he reached with hospital officials.

The state’s top prosecutor cut the deal with the medical center’s honchos after an investigation uncovered that Brooklyn Hospital broke the law when it charged sexual-assault survivors for their tests — a horrible and illegal mistake that only added to the victims’ burdens, he said.

“It’s hard to imagine the heartache and anxiety a survivor must feel having to fight a collection agency over an unlawful bill for a rape kit,” Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “It’s unacceptable, and we will not allow it to continue.”

The attorney general started sniffing around at the DeKalb Avenue hospital after a patient complained that she received seven bills for a forensic-rape exam she underwent in its emergency room. Sexual-assault survivors are entitled to free emergency care under New York State law, according to Schneiderman.

His hard look revealed that between January 2015 and February 2017, medical-center administrators incorrectly billed 85 out of 86 rape-exam recipients, either by directly sending invoices to patients or submitting them to their insurers without discussing payment options as required by the law, according to the investigation report.

Hospital officials claimed the charges were merely a clerical error, but agreed to overhaul their protocols to ensure similar mistakes never happen again as part of the settlement, according to the facility’s head honcho.

“There was an inadvertent breakdown in our billing processes related to sexual assault victims, which we deeply regret,” Gary Terrinoni said in a statement, in which he also pledged to follow laws in place to protect sexual-assault victims.

If you would like to issue a complaint regarding the hospital’s billing or other healthcare issues, contact the Attorney General’s Health Care Helpline at (800) 428–9071.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:52 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Law & Disorder from Left N Y Behind says:
Puss Bucket Not a Hospital
Nov. 30, 2017, 9:24 am
Florence Lesbona from Park Slope says:
This is bill rape - probably done by a MAN !!
Nov. 30, 2017, 1:30 pm
Samantha from Brooklyn Heights says:
Not only this - they charged me for "treating" my father, but he died 2 weeks later! No money back! No refunds!
Nov. 30, 2017, 5:43 pm
Watching the Hospital Get Rich from Fort Greene says:
They've gone on to bigger and better things...selling part of their Hospital for luxury development with an ...er...'private entrance' from the new high rise into Fort Greene Park...no need to rip off rape victims...they're in the money now.
Nov. 30, 2017, 8:59 pm
Morris from Mill Basin says:
A good attorney will get money damages for those women's pain and suffering due to the hospital's negligence.

As to that dog's mother Samantha from Brooklyn Heights, no hospital will be able to save you from dying, either, much to the relief of readers of this newspaper, you dirty snake.
Nov. 30, 2017, 10:59 pm
SCR from Fresh Meadows says:
Why is the"cash-rate",anywhere from 3-times to 15-times(in some cases,even 20-times;or more)-than the"negotiated savings,insurance-rate"? Economics 101,knows latter"insurance-rates,is MUCH closer to rate ALL patients/customers;should be paying. We really need,is health-care reforms,in which ALL patient/customers are given an honestly realistic estimate;of what will ultimately costs will be-regardless of whether,treatments are sought in a private physician's office-or in a hospital's emergency-room. Modern day Physician Assistants(PA's),are perfectly qualified,for,this duty. That's after,they logically interview patient/customers,to determine;just what-medocal,tests,treatments,etc.,any first-time,patient would likely require?
Dec. 1, 2017, 11:47 am
SCR from Realityville says:
Here's a sensible question. Are hospitals and other medical-facilities compensated(reimbursed)by our local government? Do any readers,know the answer? I certainly don't. Uncompensated costs to physicians and hospitals,is just as patently unreasonable,as charging uninsured patients ten(10);the price of(negotiated-saving),insurance-rates!!
Dec. 3, 2017, 8:57 am

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