New York hospitals illegally billed rape survivors for their rape kits, then sent debt-collectors after them


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/30/insult-to-injury.html


#2

But misogyny isn’t a real problem… /s

carrie-fisher-disappointed|nullxnull


#3

Ugh, disgusting. You go, Barbara Underwood!


#4

Probably there would still be a billing department. In Sweden, the initial visit costs a little money (5.5$ to see a nurse, 11$ to see a doctor), perhaps to discourage hypochondriacs from visiting too often. Also, if you have an appointment and you miss it, you’ll be billed.


#5

Is there a major problem of hypochondriacs repeatedly reporting rapes? Or are you suggesting that a small fee is justified to discourage frivolous rape claims?


#6

Wow, just wow. Somewhere along the line an actual human had to have approved of the decision to go after these people. (No way to know genders, the assumption would be mostly women, but not a given. Men are victims also, and even less likely to report than women.)


#7

I’ve worked in a hospital in a non/semi-clinical setting. My experience is that frontline staff often have the giveafuck sucked right out of them. I wouldn’t say this has to be the case, but I can envision some ways that no one particularly high up had to make an explicit decision.

You have people processing endless bills and claims and it’s super easy to not have a system in place beyond, “If you see this code, pull it because it’s a special process.” Then your beaten-down employee doesn’t see it sometimes because that’s not an effective system, or it’s never communicated, or your turnover rate means that your department has no institutional memory, and it gets billed like anything else.

Then when the time comes to hold someone accountable, no one is accountable because hey, there was a system–the employees just weren’t “communicated to effectively”. The buck stops… well we’re not here to assign blame, but the buck stops with you Sally, you didn’t code it right despite us not having sufficiently clear policies.


#8

I think this is a missing-the-forest-for-the-trees issue. There’ll still be billing departments. At least in Canada, some services remain elective or are things like employer-mandated tests that aren’t covered, and yes, you are billed for missed appointments.

But IMHO Cory’s point is this becomes the rare exception, rather than every procedure being subject to a litany of red-tape in deciding who pays for it in what degree.


#9

In situations like this we are always looking for some big evil behind it, when all too often it’s just a series of little apathies.


#10

I suppose this is possible. Not OK, but I could see it. Still… there has to be a code for “Rape Kit” (although I can’t find one in our system, although not something we would actually need) which should trigger a different handling, but I don’t know. More reason to be angry, just what I need.


#11

Billing a rape victim $3,000 for the kit seems to make the hospital an accomplice. Or would it be a separate rape charge. Would they need another rape kit for the victims wallet?


#12

I wouldn’t be surprised if some insurance company sickos classify it as a “preexisting condition” (after all, rape survivors are more likely to suffer mental health problems, not to mention increased risk factors for STDs).


#13

Sure, there will be billing departments - even if 99% of the bills go to the government department of paying for people’s healthcare, and the other 1% is for parking fees and room upgrades.

But the billing department will likely employ 1/10 or fewer of the staff.


#14

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