SECTION 1: Section 18¾ of chapter 6A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting the following new subsection:-
(11) to develop and implement, in consultation with the department of public health, statewide policies and procedures, including a uniform protocol, for transporting sexual assault evidence collection kits directly from hospitals to appropriate testing facilities.
SECTION 2: Section 2VVVV of chapter 29 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 41 of chapter 133 of the Acts of 2016, is hereby amended by inserting, after the words “local governmental entities” the following language:- “and fees, fees-for-service reimbursements, or other assessments collected by the Massachusetts SANE program” and by inserting at the end thereof the following language: “Nothing in this section should be interpreted to supplant the commonwealth’s obligation to support forensic evidence collection.”
SECTION 3: Section 220 of chapter 111 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting the following new definitions:-
“Acute care hospital” shall mean a hospital subject to licensing pursuant to sections 51 through 53, inclusive, of chapter 111, but shall not include the following:
(1) Psychiatric Hospitals as defined in 42 CFR 412.23(a);
(2) Rehabilitation Hospitals as defined in 42 CFR 412.23(b);
(3) Alcohol/Drug Hospitals as defined in 42 CRF 412.23(c); and
(4) Chronic Care Hospitals.
“Program Protocols”, the most current program protocols prepared by the Massachusetts Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program for the treatment and examination of both pediatric and adult sexual assault victims.
“SANE designated site,” a site designed by the department to have Massachusetts SANE nurses contracted or otherwise employed by the department to respond directly to victims of sexual assault at said designated site.
SECTION 4: Said section 220 is hereby amended by inserting, after the words “site designation.” in line 48 the following words:-“The department shall examine the regional needs of the commonwealth for sexual assault nurse examiner services and for sexual assault counselors trained as medical advocates and expand sexual assault nurse examiner services into underserved regions. The department shall also ensure, subject to appropriation, that adequate numbers of sexual assault nurse examiners are made available in all regions of the Commonwealth to meet the needs of victims.”
SECTION 5: Said section 220 is hereby amended by inserting, at the end thereof, the following new subsections:-
(i) Acute care hospitals shall make program protocols available both electronically and in hard-copy to sexual assault nurse examiners and all other nurses and physicians collecting evidence for inclusion in a sexual assault evidence collection kit or toxicology kit.
(j) In consultation with the advisory board, the department shall promulgate regulations requiring all teaching hospitals and academic medical centers, as defined by the center for health information and analysis hospital cohorts, to be SANE designated sites.
(k) In consultation with the advisory board, the department shall promulgate regulations requiring appropriate emergency department personnel, as defined by the department, at all acute care hospitals that treat sexual assault victims, but are not SANE designated sites, to receive, at a minimum, bi-annual training by the department in the program protocols.
(l) In consultation with the advisory board, the department shall amend all applicable contracts or memoranda of agreement to require appropriate emergency department personnel, as defined by the department, at all SANE designated sites to receive, at a minimum, bi-annual training by the department in the program protocols.
(m) In consultation with the advisory board, the department shall establish a fee structure relative to SANE site designation and SANE operated training programs. Fees shall be payable to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Trust Fund established in section 2VVVV of chapter 29, as appearing in section 41 of chapter 133 of the Acts of 2016 . Nothing in this section should be interpreted to supplant the commonwealth’s obligation to support forensic evidence collection.
(n) The department shall publicly report on hospital training and designation compliance rates pursuant to this section.
SECTION 6: Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the executive office of public safety and security is hereby authorized and directed to conduct a comprehensive study related to sexual assault evidence collection kits. Said study shall include, but not be limited to, a study on the (i) effectiveness and cost of a system allowing for the online completion of provider sexual crime reports, with electronic notification, after each said report is submitted, to said office and to the local police department; (ii) feasibility and cost of a web-based tracking system to allow agencies involved in the response to and prosecution of rapes and sexual assault to track sexual assault evidence collection kits, pediatric sexual assault evidence collection kits, and toxicology kits using a machine-scannable bar code number uniquely assigned to each rape kit, so their status may be known at all times; (iii) feasibility and cost of an automated 24-hour hotline for sexual assault survivors to determine the status and location of their kits; (iv) effectiveness and cost of having designated state employees or state police transport rape kits from hospitals to the appropriate testing facility; (iv) feasibility and cost of any necessary statutory or regulatory changes required to allow for transport of sexual assault evidence collection kits and toxicology kits by mail, delivery service, or private courier. Prior to issuing a report, the executive office shall hold a hearing to allow for public comment. A report of the study’s findings shall be filed with the clerks of the house of representatives and senate by December 31, 2018.
SECTION 7: The executive office of public safety and security shall develop and implement a pilot program utilizing a rapid DNA service protocol to assist in the collection and analysis of forensic evidence from alleged victims of sexual assault. In developing such a program, the executive office of public safety and security shall examine existing programs, including the program implemented in California, as a model.
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