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Mo. hospitals charge state different rates for rape kits

Mo. State Rep. Chris Kelly.
(Office of Chris Kelly)
Mo. State Rep. Chris Kelly.

The amount Missouri hospitals charge the state for examinations to collect evidence from sexual assault victims varies widely between hospitals.

Lawmakers say the state should set a cap on the rates it pays.

Data from the Department of Public Safety shows the state paid $35.40 for a lab test at a Kansas City hospital and more than $1,500 for an examination at a Harrisonville hospital. The state paid an average of about $784 per examination last year.

Tom Orf, the department's budget officer, told a House budget panel Wednesday that the state does not limit the rate hospitals can charge the state for each forensic examination.

House memberChris Kelly, a Columbia Democrat, says the department should have a plan for setting a limit by next Tuesday.


Updated 5:49 p.m. March 9, 2011 to include an AP-issued clarification. Costs include forensic exams, not
just rape kits.