|ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY||2007-2008|
NO. 173. AN ACT RELATING TO VICTIMS COMPENSATION.
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 13 V.S.A. § 5351 is amended to read:
§ 5351. DEFINITIONS
As used in this chapter:
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(7) “Victim” means:
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a resident of this state who is injured or killed
by an act of terrorism, as
defined in section 2331 of Title 18, United States Code, as the result
of a crime committed outside the United States.
Sec. 2. 13 V.S.A. § 5356 is amended to read:
§ 5356. AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION
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(c) The board may reimburse health care facilities and health care providers as defined in section 9402 of Title 18 at 70 percent of the billed charges for compensation claims for uninsured crime victims who do not qualify for the hospital’s patient assistance program, Medicaid, or Medicare. The health care facility or health care provider shall not bill any balance to the uninsured crime victim.
Sec. 3. 13 V.S.A. § 5366 is added to read:
§ 5366. DELAY IN DEBT COLLECTION BY HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
(a) When a person files a claim under this chapter, no health care provider that has been given notice of the claim shall conduct any debt collection activities relating to medical or dental treatment received by the person in connection with the claim until an award is made on the claim or until the claim is determined to be noncompensable pursuant to section 5355 of this title. The period during which the health care provider is prohibited from conducting debt collection activities under this section shall be excluded in determining the applicable limitations period for commencing an action to collect the debt.
(b) As used in this section:
(1) “Debt collection activities” means repeatedly calling or writing to the claimant and threatening to turn the matter over to a debt collection agency or to an attorney for collection, enforcement, or filing of other process. The term shall not include routine billing or inquiries about the status of the claim.
(2) “Health care provider” shall have the same meaning as in section 9402 of Title 18.
Sec. 4. 32 V.S.A. § 1407 is amended to read:
§ 1407. COSTS TO BE BORNE BY THE STATE
The state shall bear the costs of medical and psychological examinations administered to victims of crime committed in this state, in instances where that examination is requested by a law enforcement officer or a prosecuting authority of the state or any of its subdivisions. The state shall also bear the costs of medical examinations administered to victims in cases of alleged sexual assault where the victim obtains such an examination prior to receiving such a request. If, as a result of a sexual assault examination, the alleged
victim has been referred for mental health counseling, the state shall bear the costs of such examination. These costs may be paid from the victims’ compensation fund from funds appropriated for that purpose. The fund shall reimburse health care facilities and health care providers located in Vermont as defined in section 9402 of Title 18 at 70 percent of the billed charges for these claims, and the health care provider or facility shall not bill any balance to the crime victim. A victim, at his or her own expense, may obtain copies of the results of an examination under this section.
Sec. 5. 13 V.S.A. § 5353 is amended to read:
§ 5353. APPLICATION FOR COMPENSATION
(a) A victim or a dependent of a victim shall, upon application, be eligible for compensation if:
(1) a law enforcement official has filed a report concluding that a crime was committed which resulted in the injury or death of the victim; and
(2) the crime was committed in this state; or
(3) the victim is a Vermont resident, the state in which the crime occurred does not have an eligible crime victim's compensation program and the applicant would have been eligible for compensation under this chapter if the crime had been committed in this state; or
(4) the victim is a Vermont resident who is injured or killed by an act of terrorism outside the United States, to the extent that compensation is not otherwise available under federal law.
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Approved: May 27, 2008
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street