(a) Establishment of Program. - There is established an Assistance Program for Victims of Rape and Sex Offenses, hereinafter referred to as the "Program." The Secretary shall administer and implement the Program and shall have authority over all assistance awarded through the Program. The Secretary shall promulgate rules and guidelines for the Program.
(b) Victims to Be Provided Free Forensic Medical Examinations. - It is the policy of this State to arrange for victims to obtain forensic medical examinations free of charge. Whenever a forensic medical examination is conducted as a result of a sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault that occurred in this State, the Program shall pay for the cost of the examination. A medical facility or medical professional that performs a forensic medical examination on the victim of a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault shall not seek payment for the examination except from the Program.
(c) No Billing of Victim. - A medical facility or medical professional that performs a forensic medical examination shall accept payment made under this section as payment in full of the amount owed for the cost of the examination and other eligible expenses and shall not bill victims, their personal insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or any other collateral source for the examination. Furthermore, a medical facility or medical professional shall not seek reimbursement from the Program after one year from the date of the examination.
(d) Eligible Expenses. - Medical facilities and medical professionals who perform forensic medical examinations shall do so using a Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit. Payments by the Program for the forensic medical examination shall be limited to the following:
Service Maximum Amount Paid by Program
Physician or SANE Nurse $350.00
Hospital/Facility Fee $250.00
Other Expenses Deemed Eligible
by the Program $200.00
(e) Payment Directly to Provider. - The Program shall make payment directly to the medical facility or medical professional. Bills submitted to the Program for payment shall specify under which categories of expense set forth in subsection (d) of this section the billed services fall.
(f) Additional Victim Notification Requirements. - A medical facility or medical professional who performs a forensic medical examination shall encourage victims to submit an application for reimbursement of medical expenses beyond the forensic examination to the Crime Victims Compensation Commission for consideration of those expenses. Medical facilities and medical professionals shall not seek reimbursement from the Program after one year from the date of the exam.
(g) Judicial Review. - Upon an adverse determination by the Secretary on a claim for assistance under this Part, a victim is entitled to judicial review of that decision. The person seeking review shall file a petition in the Superior Court of Wake County.
(h) The Secretary shall adopt rules to encourage, whenever practical, the use of licensed registered nurses trained under G.S. 90-171.38(b) to conduct medical examinations and procedures.
(i) Definitions. - The following definitions apply in this section:
(1) Forensic medical examination. - An examination provided to a sexual assault victim by medical personnel trained to gather evidence of a sexual assault in a manner suitable for use in a court of law. The examination should include at a minimum an examination of physical trauma, a patient interview, a determination of penetration or force, and a collection and evaluation of evidence. This definition shall be interpreted consistently with 28 C.F.R. 90.2(b) and other relevant federal law.
(2) SANE nurse. - A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner that is a licensed registered nurse trained pursuant to G.S. 90-171.38(b) who obtains preliminary histories, conducts in-depth interviews, and conducts medical examinations of rape victims or victims of related sexual offenses.
(3) Sexual assault. - Any of the following crimes:
a. First-degree rape as defined in G.S. 14-27.2.
b. Second degree rape as defined in G.S. 14-27.3.
c. First-degree sexual offense as defined in G.S. 14-27.4.
d. Second degree sexual offense as defined in G.S. 14-27.5.
e. Statutory rape as defined in G.S. 14-27.7A.
(4) Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit. - The kit assembled and paid for by the Program and used to conduct forensic medical examinations in this State. (1981, c. 931, s. 2; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1191, s. 16; 2009-354, s. 1(b); 2011-145, s. 19.1(x1); 2011-391, s. 43(i).)
Last modified: March 23, 2014