The amount Missouri hospitals charge the state for examinations to collect evidence from sexual assault victims varies widely between hospitals.
Lawmakers say the state should set a cap on the rates it pays.
Data from the Department of Public Safety shows the state paid $35.40 for a lab test at a Kansas City hospital and more than $1,500 for an examination at a Harrisonville hospital. The state paid an average of about $784 per examination last year.
Tom Orf, the department's budget officer, told a House budget panel Wednesday that the state does not limit the rate hospitals can charge the state for each forensic examination.
House member Chris Kelly, a Columbia Democrat, says the department should have a plan for setting a limit by next Tuesday.
Updated 5:49 p.m. March 9, 2011 to include an AP-issued clarification. Costs include forensic exams, not
just rape kits.