Forensic Medical Evidence Process Improvements
The bill requires the department of public safety (department), by December 31, 2024, to develop and maintain a statewide system for victims of alleged sexual assault to monitor the status of evidence obtained from their forensic medical evidence examinations. The system must also provide relevant information for victims regarding the processing, custody, analysis, and destruction of evidence, as well as contact information for law enforcement and victim resources.
Under current law, the division of criminal justice (division) in the department administers the sexual assault victim emergency payment program (program), which assists victims of sexual assault with medical expenses associated with a sexual assault. The bill repeals the requirement that the department cap an amount payable per victim based on reasonable costs and available funds and instead requires the department to cap amounts payable to medical facilities seeking reimbursement for services.
The bill prohibits a medical facility that administers a medical forensic examination to a victim of an alleged sexual assault from billing the victim or the victim's public or private coverage for medical fees or costs associated with the examination unless the victim consents to the billing. A medical facility that administers a forensic medical examination may seek reimbursement from the program.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)