State Senate OKs higher payments to treat rape victims

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Bipartisan legislation that would increase payments to medical providers for treating sexual assault victims is advancing in Michigan’s Legislature.

The Senate unanimously sent the bills to the House Thursday.

One measure would require the Crime Victim Services Commission to pay up to $1,200 to health providers for performing a sexual assault forensic examination and related services. The maximum now is $600.

Another bill would expand which entities are eligible to receive compensation.

The state spent $842,000 for 1,855 sexual assault exams in the last fiscal year. The legislation could triple spending to $2.4 million.

A sponsor, Republican Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker of Lawton, says reimbursement rates currently do not cover providers’ costs and the measures “will allow more access and better care for the victims.”——Online:Senate Bills 152-53

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