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AB-925 Sexual assault forensic examinations: reimbursement.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/19/2021 02:00 PM
AB925:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 09, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 04, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 925


Introduced by Assembly Member Megan Dahle

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Section 13823.95 of the Penal Code, relating to law enforcement.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 925, as amended, Megan Dahle. Sexual assault forensic examinations: reimbursement.
Existing law requires the Office of Emergency Services (OES) to establish a protocol for the examination and treatment of victims of sexual abuse and attempted sexual abuse, including child sexual abuse, and the collection and preservation of evidence therefrom. Existing law prohibits the costs incurred by a qualified health care professional, hospital, clinic, sexual assault forensic examination team, or other emergency medical facility for the medical evidentiary examination from being charged to a victim of the assault. Under existing law, the local law enforcement agency in whose jurisdiction the alleged offense was committed is required to reimburse the cost of a medical evidentiary examination within 60 days. Existing law authorizes the local law enforcement agency to seek reimbursement from OES, to be funded with specified federal funds, to offset the cost of conducting the medical evidentiary examination of a sexual assault victim who is undecided at the time of an examination whether to report to law enforcement.
This bill would authorize the appropriate local law enforcement agency to seek reimbursement from OES, using the specified federal funds, for the cost of conducting the medical evidentiary examination of a sexual assault victim who has decided not to report the assault to law enforcement at the time of the examination. The bill would also authorize local law enforcement to seek, and would require OES to pay at an established rate, reimbursement for the cost of conducting the medical evidentiary examination of a sexual assault victim who has determined, at the time of the examination, to report the assault to law enforcement.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 13823.95 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

13823.95.
 (a) Costs incurred by a qualified health care professional, hospital, clinic, sexual assault forensic examination team, or other emergency medical facility for a medical evidentiary examination of a victim of a sexual assault, as described in the protocol developed pursuant to Section 13823.5, when the examination is performed pursuant to Sections 13823.5 and 13823.7, shall not be charged directly or indirectly to the victim of the assault.
(b) (1) A victim of a sexual assault who seeks a medical evidentiary examination, as that term is used in Section 13823.93, shall be provided with a standardized medical evidentiary examination, using the medical evidentiary examination report forms and protocols for victims of sexual assault developed pursuant to Section 13823.5. A victim of a sexual assault shall not be required to participate or to agree to participate in the criminal justice system, either prior to the examination or at any other time. Pursuant to the requirements of the federal Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, and the federal Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 through the federal Office of Violence Against Women, standardized medical evidentiary examinations consistent with Sections 13823.5 and 13823.7 shall be provided to sexual assault victims who are undecided at the time of an examination whether to report to law enforcement within the recommended timeframes for collection of evidence. Mandated reporting laws, pursuant to Section 11160, shall apply.
(2) Data from the medical evidentiary examination in paragraph (1), with the patient’s identity removed, may be collected for health and forensic purposes in accordance with state and federal privacy laws.
(c) The cost of a medical evidentiary examination performed by a qualified health care professional, hospital, or other emergency medical facility for a victim of a sexual assault shall be treated as a local cost and charged to and reimbursed within 60 days by the local law enforcement agency in whose jurisdiction the alleged offense was committed.
(1) All medical evidentiary examinations are to be reimbursed at the locally negotiated rate and shall not be subject to reduced reimbursement rates based on patient history or other reasons.
(2) (A) The local law enforcement agency may seek reimbursement, as provided in subdivision (d), to offset the cost of conducting the medical evidentiary examination of a sexual assault victim who is undecided at the time of an examination whether to report to law enforcement or who has decided not to report to law enforcement.
(B) The local law enforcement agency may seek reimbursement, as provided in subdivision (e), to offset the cost of conducting the medical evidentiary examination of a sexual assault victim who has determined, at the time of the examination, to report the assault to law enforcement. This subparagraph does not permit a law enforcement agency to reduce the existing locally negotiated rate or rates for medical evidentiary examinations.
(d) (1) The Office of Emergency Services shall use the discretionary funds from federal grants awarded to the agency pursuant to the federal Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 and the federal Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 through the federal Office of Violence Against Women, specifically, the STOP (Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program, to offset the cost of the medical evidentiary examination.
(2) The Office of Emergency Services shall determine the amount that may be reimbursed to offset the cost of a medical evidentiary exam once every five years. Any increase to the amount that may be reimbursed to offset the cost of a medical evidentiary exam shall not exceed 50 percent of the reimbursement amount most recently determined by the Office of Emergency Services.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), the Office of Emergency Services may redetermine the amount that may be reimbursed to offset the cost of a medical evidentiary exam, at any time, if the federal government reduces the amount of the grants described in paragraph (1).
(e) (1) The Office of Emergency Services shall determine the amount that shall be reimbursed to offset the cost of medical evidentiary examinations pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c). The reimbursement amount may be reassessed every five years. Any increase to the reimbursement amount shall not exceed 50 percent of the reimbursement amount most recently set.