DHH Secretary: Change is necessary so rape victims won't be bill - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

DHH Secretary: Change is necessary so rape victims won't be billed

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Louisiana's Secretary of Health and Hospitals says things must change in the way the state treats rape victims.

This comes after reports that victims were being billed for services related to their sexual assault. Those reports also triggered a special Senate hearing this week.

Secretary Kathy Kleibert says the Department of Health and Hospitals is committed to working with policy makers, law enforcement agencies and hospitals to make sure the practice doesn't continue.

"I hope something does change so that those victims aren't billed. We'll be working with them, along with the advocacy groups and with the Louisiana Commission of Law Enforcement to make whatever policy changes we need to make and with the hospitals as well, to make sure they have the mechanisms to pay for their services so that they don't have to bill victims for those services," said Kleibert.

Kleibert says legislative change could come as early as next year's session.

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