Bill Text: TX HB616 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Enrolled


Bill Title: Relating to reimbursement for a certain portion of a forensic medical examination of a sexual assault survivor and for the evidence collection kit required for the examination.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 19-4)

Status: (Passed) 2019-06-14 - Effective on 9/1/19 [HB616 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB616-Enrolled.html
 
 
  H.B. No. 616
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to reimbursement for a certain portion of a forensic
  medical examination of a sexual assault survivor and for the
  evidence collection kit required for the examination.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Article 56.01, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Subdivision (2-b) to read as follows:
               (2-b)  "Sexual assault examiner" and "sexual assault
  nurse examiner" have the meanings assigned by Section 420.003,
  Government Code.
         SECTION 2.  Article 56.021(a), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  In addition to the rights enumerated in Article 56.02,
  if the offense is a sexual assault, the victim, guardian of a
  victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entitled to the
  following rights within the criminal justice system:
               (1)  if requested, the right to a disclosure of
  information regarding any evidence that was collected during the
  investigation of the offense, unless disclosing the information
  would interfere with the investigation or prosecution of the
  offense, in which event the victim, guardian, or relative shall be
  informed of the estimated date on which that information is
  expected to be disclosed;
               (2)  if requested, the right to a disclosure of
  information regarding the status of any analysis being performed of
  any evidence that was collected during the investigation of the
  offense;
               (3)  if requested, the right to be notified:
                     (A)  at the time a request is submitted to a crime
  laboratory to process and analyze any evidence that was collected
  during the investigation of the offense;
                     (B)  at the time of the submission of a request to
  compare any biological evidence collected during the investigation
  of the offense with DNA profiles maintained in a state or federal
  DNA database; and
                     (C)  of the results of the comparison described by
  Paragraph (B), unless disclosing the results would interfere with
  the investigation or prosecution of the offense, in which event the
  victim, guardian, or relative shall be informed of the estimated
  date on which those results are expected to be disclosed;
               (4)  if requested, the right to counseling regarding
  acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human
  immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection;
               (5)  for the victim of the offense, testing for
  acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), human immunodeficiency
  virus (HIV) infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection with any
  other probable causative agent of AIDS; and
               (6)  to the extent provided by Articles 56.06 and
  56.065, for the victim of the offense, the right to a forensic
  medical examination if, within 120 [96] hours of the offense, the
  offense is reported to a law enforcement agency or a forensic
  medical examination is otherwise conducted at a health care
  facility.
         SECTION 3.  Article 56.06, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsections
  (a-1), (b-1), (b-2), (b-3), (b-4), (b-5), (g), and (h) to read as
  follows:
         (a)  This article applies to health care facilities
  described by Article 56.065.
         (a-1)  If a sexual assault is reported to a law enforcement
  agency within 120 [96] hours of the assault, the law enforcement
  agency, with the consent of the victim, a person authorized to act
  on behalf of the victim, or an employee of the Department of Family
  and Protective Services, shall request a forensic medical
  examination of the victim of the alleged assault for use in the
  investigation or prosecution of the offense. A law enforcement
  agency may decline to request a forensic medical examination under
  this subsection only if the person reporting the sexual assault has
  made one or more false reports of sexual assault to any law
  enforcement agency and if there is no other evidence to corroborate
  the current allegations of sexual assault.
         (b)  If a sexual assault is not reported within the period
  described by Subsection (a-1) [(a)], on receiving the consent
  described by that subsection the law enforcement agency may request
  a forensic medical examination of a victim of an alleged sexual
  assault as considered appropriate by the agency.
         (b-1)  If a sexual assault is reported to a law enforcement
  agency as provided by Subsection (a-1) or (b), the law enforcement
  agency shall document, in the form and manner required by the
  attorney general, whether the agency requested a forensic medical
  examination. The law enforcement agency shall:
               (1)  provide the documentation of the agency's decision
  regarding a request for a forensic medical examination to:
                     (A)  the health care facility and the sexual
  assault examiner or sexual assault nurse examiner, as applicable,
  who provides services to the victim that are related to the sexual
  assault; and
                     (B)  the victim or the person who consented to the
  forensic medical examination on behalf of the victim; and
               (2)  maintain the documentation of the agency's
  decision in accordance with the agency's record retention policies.
         (b-2)  On application to the attorney general, a health care
  facility that provides a forensic medical examination to a sexual
  assault survivor in accordance with this article, or the sexual
  assault examiner or sexual assault nurse examiner who conducts that
  examination, as applicable, is entitled to be reimbursed in an
  amount set by attorney general rule for:
               (1)  the reasonable costs of the forensic portion of
  that examination; and
               (2)  the evidence collection kit.
         (b-3)  The application under Subsection (b-2) must be in the
  form and manner prescribed by the attorney general and must
  include:
               (1)  the documentation that the law enforcement agency
  requested the forensic medical examination, as required under
  Subsection (b-1); and
               (2)  a complete and itemized bill of the reasonable
  costs of the forensic portion of the examination.
         (b-4)  A health care facility or a sexual assault examiner or
  sexual assault nurse examiner, as applicable, who applies for
  reimbursement under Subsection (b-2) shall accept reimbursement
  from the attorney general as payment for the costs unless:
               (1)  the health care facility or sexual assault
  examiner or sexual assault nurse examiner, as applicable:
                     (A)  requests, in writing, additional
  reimbursement from the attorney general; and
                     (B)  provides documentation in support of the
  additional reimbursement, as reasonably requested by the attorney
  general; and
               (2)  the attorney general determines that there is a
  reasonable justification for additional reimbursement.
         (b-5)  A health care facility is not entitled to
  reimbursement under this article unless the forensic medical
  examination was conducted at the facility by a physician, sexual
  assault examiner, or sexual assault nurse examiner.
         (g)  The attorney general shall adopt rules necessary to
  implement this article.
         (h)  On request, the attorney general may provide training to
  a health care facility regarding the process for applying for
  reimbursement under this article.
         SECTION 4.  Article 56.065, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by amending Subsection (c) and adding Subsections (c-1),
  (c-2), (c-3), (c-4), and (l) to read as follows:
         (c)  In accordance with Subchapter B, Chapter 420,
  Government Code, and except as provided by Subsection (e), a health
  care facility shall conduct a forensic medical examination of the
  victim of an alleged sexual assault if:
               (1)  the victim arrives at the facility within 120 [96]
  hours after the assault occurred;
               (2)  the victim consents to the examination; and
               (3)  at the time of the examination the victim has not
  reported the assault to a law enforcement agency.
         (c-1)  On application to the attorney general, a health care
  facility that provides a forensic medical examination to a sexual
  assault survivor in accordance with this article, or the sexual
  assault examiner or sexual assault nurse examiner who conducts that
  examination, as applicable, within 120 hours after the alleged
  sexual assault occurred is entitled to be reimbursed in an amount
  set by attorney general rule for:
               (1)  the reasonable costs of the forensic portion of
  that examination; and
               (2)  the evidence collection kit.
         (c-2)  The application under Subsection (c-1) must be in the
  form and manner prescribed by the attorney general and must
  include:
               (1)  certification that the examination was conducted
  in accordance with the requirements of Subsection (c); and
               (2)  a complete and itemized bill of the reasonable
  costs of the forensic portion of the examination.
         (c-3)  A health care facility or a sexual assault examiner or
  sexual assault nurse examiner, as applicable, who applies for
  reimbursement under Subsection (c-1) shall accept reimbursement
  from the attorney general as payment for the costs unless:
               (1)  the health care facility or sexual assault
  examiner or sexual assault nurse examiner, as applicable:
                     (A)  requests, in writing, additional
  reimbursement from the attorney general; and
                     (B)  provides documentation in support of the
  additional reimbursement, as reasonably requested by the attorney
  general; and
               (2)  the attorney general determines that there is a
  reasonable justification for additional reimbursement.
         (c-4)  A health care facility is not entitled to
  reimbursement under this article unless the forensic medical
  examination was conducted at the facility by a physician, sexual
  assault examiner, or sexual assault nurse examiner.
         (l)  On request, the attorney general may provide training to
  a health care facility regarding the process for applying for
  reimbursement under this article.
         SECTION 5.  Article 56.54(k), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (k)  The attorney general may use the compensation to victims
  of crime fund to:
               (1)  reimburse a health care facility or a sexual
  assault examiner or sexual assault nurse examiner for certain costs
  of a forensic medical examination that are incurred by the facility
  or the examiner [reimburse a law enforcement agency for the
  reasonable costs of a forensic medical examination that are
  incurred by the agency] under Article 56.06 or 56.065, as provided
  by those articles; and
               (2)  make a payment to or on behalf of an individual for
  the reasonable costs incurred for medical care provided under
  Article 56.06 or 56.065 in accordance with Section 323.004, Health
  and Safety Code.
         SECTION 6.  Section 323.005(a), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The department shall develop a standard information
  form for sexual assault survivors that must include:
               (1)  a detailed explanation of the forensic medical
  examination required to be provided by law, including a statement
  that photographs may be taken of the genitalia;
               (2)  information regarding treatment of sexually
  transmitted infections and pregnancy, including:
                     (A)  generally accepted medical procedures;
                     (B)  appropriate medications; and
                     (C)  any contraindications of the medications
  prescribed for treating sexually transmitted infections and
  preventing pregnancy;
               (3)  information regarding drug-facilitated sexual
  assault, including the necessity for an immediate urine test for
  sexual assault survivors who may have been involuntarily drugged;
               (4)  information regarding crime victims compensation,
  including:
                     (A)  a statement that public agencies are
  responsible for paying for the forensic portion of an examination
  conducted under Article 56.06 or 56.065, Code of Criminal
  Procedure, and for the evidence collection kit used in connection
  with the examination and that the health care facility or provider,
  as applicable, is responsible for seeking reimbursement for those
  costs[:
                           [(i)     a law enforcement agency will pay for
  the forensic portion of an examination requested by the agency
  under Article 56.06, Code of Criminal Procedure, and for the
  evidence collection kit; or
                           [(ii)     the Department of Public Safety will
  pay the appropriate fees for the forensic portion of an examination
  conducted under Article 56.065, Code of Criminal Procedure, and for
  the evidence collection kit]; and
                     (B)  [reimbursement] information regarding the
  reimbursement of the survivor for the medical portion of the
  examination;
               (5)  an explanation that consent for the forensic
  medical examination may be withdrawn at any time during the
  examination;
               (6)  the name and telephone number of sexual assault
  crisis centers statewide; and
               (7)  information regarding postexposure prophylaxis
  for HIV infection.
         SECTION 7.  Section 323.0051(a), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The department shall develop a standard information
  form for sexual assault survivors who arrive at a health care
  facility that is not a SAFE-ready facility.  The information form
  must include:
               (1)  information regarding the benefits of a forensic
  medical examination conducted by a sexual assault forensic
  examiner;
               (2)  the Internet website address to the department's
  list of SAFE-ready facilities that includes the facilities'
  physical addresses as required by Section 323.008;
               (3)  the following statements:
                     (A)  "As a survivor of sexual assault, you have
  the right to receive a forensic medical examination at this
  hospital emergency room if you are requesting the examination not
  later than 120 [96] hours after the assault.";
                     (B)  "A report to law enforcement is not required,
  but if you make a report, law enforcement must first authorize the
  examination."; and
                     (C)  "Call 1-800-656-HOPE to be connected to a
  rape crisis center for free and confidential assistance."; and
               (4)  information on the procedure for submitting a
  complaint against the health care facility.
         SECTION 8.  The following provisions are repealed:
               (1)  Article 56.06(c), Code of Criminal Procedure;
               (2)  Articles 56.065(a)(3) and (d), Code of Criminal
  Procedure; and
               (3)  Section 420.031(d), Government Code.
         SECTION 9.  The change in law made by this Act applies to a
  forensic medical examination that occurs on or after the effective
  date of this Act. A forensic medical examination that occurs before
  the effective date of this Act is governed by the law as it existed
  immediately before that date, and the former law is continued in
  effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 10.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 616 was passed by the House on April
  17, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 141, Nays 0, 2 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 616 on May 24, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 142, Nays 0, 2
  present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 616 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 22, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor       
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