Some Wisconsin sex-assault victims get billed for exams

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APPLETON (AP) — An analysis shows that sexual-assault victims in Wisconsin are sometimes billed for the hospital cost of collecting evidence, a cost that state officials say should instead be paid by insurance or the government.

The evidence can include taking pictures of bruises, swabs of sexual fluids or hair. The price tag can be about $1,200.

Hospitals often bill victims’ insurance, and government funds are also available. But some hospitals force the victims to pay.

Jill Karofsky is with the state Justice Department’s office of crime-victim services. She says that shouldn’t happen.

She says one reason is because not all hospitals are aware of the government funds available to help out with costs. She says her office is working to educate hospitals.