Chicago hospital threatens to destroy rape victim’s credit after wrongly billing her for exams
A Chicago rape survivor said that the way she was treated by the hospital that examined her was so horrific that she wanted to move out of town to forget the experience.
A sexual assault forensic nurse named Christine, who did not want to reveal her last name, found herself at her own hospital in 2013 needing an exam after being violently attacked. She had gone to dinner with friends, but was unable to remember details of the assault.
“I don’t remember anything after leaving the dinner portion,” she explained to WBBM. “I woke up naked and I don’t remember anything else after that.”
But Christine said that she felt like she was re-victimized when the very hospital where she worked demanded that she pay for her own rape kit, and then repeatedly sent her bills.
“Lots of them, and for thousands of dollars,” she recalled. “Once a month, you get a reminder in the mail ‘Hey, you were raped. Hey, this happened.’ It’s hard to move on.”
In Illinois, a state voucher system is supposed to pay for rape kits if they are not fully covered by insurance, but Christine’s bill was marked as “self-pay” because of a coding error.
Christine said that the hospital even threatened to send the bill to a collection agency. For months, she was unable to get out of bed, traumatized by the attack and the re-victimization.
Finally, 10 months after she was sexually assaulted, the hospital corrected the billing error.
A CBS News investigation recently found that many states forced victims to pay part of the cost of their rape kits.