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Journal Article


Tennessee AM, Bradham TS, White BM, Simpson KN. Am. J. Public Health 2017; 107(6): 983-988.


Ashley M. Tennessee and Brandi M. White are with the Department of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. Tamala S. Bradham is with the Center for Quality, Safety, and Risk Prevention, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN. Kit N. Simpson is with the Department of Healthcare Leadership and Management, Medical University of South Carolina.


(Copyright © 2017, American Public Health Association)






OBJECTIVES: To determine whether privately insured female rape victims were billed for charges associated with a specific rape in the United States.

METHODS: We examined 2013 de-identified patient data from Truven Analytics Health MarketScan database for an assault that occurred by using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, code E960.1.

RESULTS: Analysis of insurance providers' payment patterns for 1355 incident events to female victims aged between 16 and 61 years revealed that victims remit, on average, 14% or $948 of the rape cost, whereas insurance providers pay 86% or $5789 of the total cost.

CONCLUSIONS: Hospital billing procedures for privately insured victims of rape across the United States are not separate from billing procedures for privately insured nonrape patients. This standardized procedure leads hospitals to bill victims directly for services not paid under the victims' insurance policy. Public Health Implications. The Violence Against Women Act (passed in 1994, reauthorized in 2000, 2005, and 2013) must be amended to mandate that all costs incurred because of rape are not passed on to the victim. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print April 20, 2017: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.303742).

Language: en


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