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State-based Rape Kit Billing

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2021
1 page

This report examines issues in the variation among states regarding billing sexual assault victims for components of their physical exam and their testing for HIV/AIDs. 


Rape victims in some states are lawfully being billed for services that are free to victims in other states. Although erroneous billing of rape victims for some aspects of their physical exam is not apparently widespread, rape victims are still being billed differentially because of variation in state policy. This policy critique asks whether the number of services provided to a rape victim free-of-charge should depend on the state in which she/he is raped. This report indicates that services covered as part of a rape victim’s exam vary widely from state to state. Two of every three states use victim compensation funds to pay for at least some of the rape exam. Whether a patient is charged and how much varies by the hospital used to perform the exam, the admitting staff that happens to be on duty at the time the patient enters the hospital, and whether the billing employee knows which state fund to bill according to state policy.

Date Published: July 22, 2021